Happy New Year from Goaty’s News – 311212 2255z

As 2012 draws to a close, Goaty’s News would like to wish a very Happy New Year to all. Thanks to followers on WordPress, Twitter & Facebook for support & patronage.

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Is 2012 the wettest year on record?

Official blog of the Met Office news team

We announced last week that 2012 is already the wettest year for England in our records dating back to 1910, but we’re still waiting to hear whether it’s the wettest on record for the UK.

The latest figures we have for 2012 go from 1 January to 26 December, and show that during that time we’ve had 1291.2 mm of rain for the UK – meaning it is currently the 4th wettest year on record.

It’s 46.1 mm short of the record of 1337.3 mm, set in 2000, so if 46.2 mm of rain falls between 27-31 December we will have a new record.

It’s likely to be fairly close-run, but it’s impossible to say whether 2012 is a UK record for rainfall until all the data come in from our weather observation sites around the country.

This information should come in on the 1st and 2nd

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Wales Air Forum

Ryanair jet
Pilots ‘stressed’ … Ryanair jet
Newsteam / SWNS Group
Exclusive
By RYAN PARRY

RYANAIR pilots have claimed the budget airline is putting passengers’ lives in danger by ordering crew to fly with as little fuel as legally possible.

Four Ryanair commanders said they are regularly minutes away from making mayday distress calls due to low fuel.

The whistle-blowers claim they were forced to fly with the minimal amount of jet fuel by profit-driven Ryanair management.

They also said their decision-making in the cockpit of a Boeing 737-800 is impeded due to the unnecessary “stress” about fuel.

The claims come after Ryanair was told to review procedures when three jets had to make emergency landings in Valencia, Spain, due to low fuel on the SAME day.

Speaking anonymously, the four English-speaking pilots told of their fears on a Dutch TV show.

One said: “There is pressure put on crews to take…

View original post 196 more words

Russia Air Crash: Faulty Brakes Likely Cause

Wales Air Forum

Faulty brakes may be to blame for a Russian airliner’s crash that killed five people, as dramatic amateur video shows the impact.

Faulty brakes may be to blame for a Russian airliner sliding off the runway and crashing into a motorway, an investigator has said, as the death toll rose to five.

“After landing the pilot uses all the available brake systems on the plane, but for some reason the machine did not stop,” a member of the investigation team told Russia’s Interfax news agency.

“Most likely it was faulty reverse engines or brakes.”

Amateur footage captured the moment the Tu-204 plane smashed onto the road after it overshot a runway at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport.

The footage, taken from a vehicle on the motorway, shows luggage and other debris flying from the aircraft and hitting other cars on the road.

Loud bangs can also be heard as the plane impacted…

View original post 418 more words

Severe Tropical Cyclone #FREDA Cat 3 (SS-Cat 2) 311500Z nr 17.8S 161.7E, moving SSE at 09 kts – 311212 1850z

 

(Image: wunderground.com) Storm-Centered Satellite Image (Click image for source)
(Image: wunderground.com) Five Day Forecast Map (Click image for source)

 

(Image: JTWC) TC track (Click image for source)

RSMC Nadi Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre

TROPICALCYCLONEFORECASTTRACKMAP

Severe Tropical Cyclone FREDA

Tropical Cyclone Warning Number 86 issued 1316 UTC Monday 31 December 2012

Current and Past Cyclone Details Forecast Cyclone Details
(at 24, 48 and 72 hours from issue)
Current Location and Intensity Number
Very Destructive Hurricane Force Winds
Destructive Storm Force Winds
Damaging Gale Force Winds
Past Track and Movement
Past Location and Intensity Number
Forecast Location and Intensity Number
Very Destructive Wind Boundary
Destructive Wind Boundary
Gale Force Wind Boundary
Most Likely Future Track
Range of Likely Tracks over 72 hours

The forecast path shown above is the Nadi’s best estimate of the cyclone’s future movement and intensity. There is always some uncertainty associated with tropical cyclone forecasting and the grey zone indicates the range of likely tracks.
Name:Severe Tropical Cyclone FREDA

Details:

Time (UTC) Intensity Category Latitude
(decimal deg.)
Longitude
(decimal deg.)
Estimated Position
Accuracy (km)
0hr 12 pm December 31 3 17.7S 161.7E 85
+6hr 6 pm December 31 3 18.2S 161.7E 110
+12hr 12 am January 1 3 18.6S 161.7E 140
+18hr 6 am January 1 2 19.1S 161.7E 165
+24hr 12 pm January 1 2 19.6S 161.9E 195
+36hr 12 am January 2 2 20.4S 162.5E 255
+48hr 12 pm January 2 1 21.2S 163.4E 315
+60hr 12 am January 3 1 21.9S 164.4E 405
+72hr 12 pm January 3 1 22.6S 165.1E 490

Fiji time is UTC +12 hours.
For example, 0000 UTC Saturday is 1200 Saturday Fiji time.
For example, 1800 UTC Saturday is 0600 Sunday Fiji time.

Category Cyclone 1 has mean winds 34-47 knots with a central pressure greater than 985 hPa
Category Cyclone 2 has mean winds 48-63 knots with a central pressure 985-970 hPa
Category Cyclone 3 has mean winds 64-85 knots with a central pressure 970-945 hPa
Category Cyclone 4 has mean winds 86-107 knots with a central pressure 945-910 hPa
Category Cyclone 5 has mean winds greater than 107 knots with a central pressure less than 910 hPa
The next TC Forecast Track Map is scheduled to be issued within six hours.
 

HURRICANE WARNING 086 ISSUED FROM RSMC NADI Dec 31/1302 UTC 2012 UTC.

SEVERE TROPICAL CYCLONE FREDA CENTRE 967HPA CATEGORY 3 WAS LOCATED NEAR 17.7
SOUTH 161.7 EAST AT 311200 UTC.
POSITION FAIR.
REPEAT POSITION 17.7S 161.7E AT 311200 UTC.
CYCLONE MOVING SOUTH SOUTHEAST AT 9 KNOTS. CYCLONE WEAKENING.
EXPECT SUSTAINED WINDS OF 80 KNOTS CLOSE TO THE CENTRE DECREASING TO 55 KNOTS BY
011200 UTC.
EXPECT WINDS OVER 63 KNOTS WITHIN 20 NAUTICAL MILES OF CENTRE,
OVER 47 KNOTS WITHIN 30 NAUTICAL MILES OF CENTRE AND
OVER 33 KNOTS WITHIN 100 NAUTICAL MILES OF CENTRE IN NE QUADRANT
AND WITHIN 130 NAUTICAL MILES OF CENTRE IN THE SOUTHERN
SEMICIRCLE
AND WITHIN 70 NAUTICAL MILES OF CENTRE IN NW QUADRANT

FORECAST POSITION NEAR 18.6S 161.7E AT 010000 UTC
AND NEAR 19.6S 161.9E AT 011200 UTC.

ALL VESSELS WITHIN 300 NAUTICAL MILES OF CENTRE ARE REQUESTED TO SEND REPORTS
EVERY THREE HOURS TO RSMC NADI. VOS REPORTING SHIPS USE NORMAL CHANNELS. OTHER
VESSELS FAX PLUS 679 6720190 OR EMAIL NADITCC AT MET DOT GOV DOT FJ

THIS WARNING CANCELS AND REPLACES WARNING 084.
 

Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC)

WTPS31 PGTW 311500
MSGID/GENADMIN/JOINT TYPHOON WRNCEN PEARL HARBOR HI//
SUBJ/TROPICAL CYCLONE 05P (FREDA) WARNING NR 007//
RMKS/
1. TROPICAL CYCLONE 05P (FREDA) WARNING NR 007
01 ACTIVE TROPICAL CYCLONE IN SOUTHPAC
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS BASED ON ONE-MINUTE AVERAGE
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY

WARNING POSITION:
311200Z — NEAR 17.6S 161.7E
MOVEMENT PAST SIX HOURS – 155 DEGREES AT 09 KTS
POSITION ACCURATE TO WITHIN 060 NM
POSITION BASED ON CENTER LOCATED BY SATELLITE
PRESENT WIND DISTRIBUTION:
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS – 090 KT, GUSTS 110 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
RADIUS OF 064 KT WINDS – 030 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
030 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
030 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
030 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
RADIUS OF 050 KT WINDS – 040 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
040 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
040 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
040 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
RADIUS OF 034 KT WINDS – 085 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
085 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
075 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
075 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
REPEAT POSIT: 17.6S 161.7E

FORECASTS:
12 HRS, VALID AT:
010000Z — 18.5S 161.6E
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS – 080 KT, GUSTS 100 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
RADIUS OF 064 KT WINDS – 035 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
035 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
035 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
035 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
RADIUS OF 050 KT WINDS – 050 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
050 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
050 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
050 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
RADIUS OF 034 KT WINDS – 095 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
095 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
085 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
085 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
VECTOR TO 24 HR POSIT: 180 DEG/ 04 KTS

24 HRS, VALID AT:
011200Z — 19.2S 161.6E
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS – 070 KT, GUSTS 085 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
RADIUS OF 064 KT WINDS – 030 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
030 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
030 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
030 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
RADIUS OF 050 KT WINDS – 045 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
045 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
045 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
045 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
RADIUS OF 034 KT WINDS – 090 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
090 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
080 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
080 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
VECTOR TO 36 HR POSIT: 150 DEG/ 05 KTS

36 HRS, VALID AT:
020000Z — 20.1S 162.1E
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS – 065 KT, GUSTS 080 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
RADIUS OF 064 KT WINDS – 030 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
030 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
030 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
030 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
RADIUS OF 050 KT WINDS – 045 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
045 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
045 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
045 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
RADIUS OF 034 KT WINDS – 085 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
085 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
075 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
070 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
VECTOR TO 48 HR POSIT: 130 DEG/ 05 KTS

EXTENDED OUTLOOK:
48 HRS, VALID AT:
021200Z — 20.7S 162.9E
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS – 060 KT, GUSTS 075 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
RADIUS OF 050 KT WINDS – 040 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
040 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
040 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
040 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
RADIUS OF 034 KT WINDS – 075 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
065 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
065 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
075 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
VECTOR TO 72 HR POSIT: 125 DEG/ 05 KTS

72 HRS, VALID AT:
031200Z — 21.9S 164.8E
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS – 055 KT, GUSTS 070 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
RADIUS OF 050 KT WINDS – 035 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
035 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
035 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
035 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
RADIUS OF 034 KT WINDS – 070 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
060 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
060 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
070 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
VECTOR TO 96 HR POSIT: 150 DEG/ 03 KTS

LONG RANGE OUTLOOK:

96 HRS, VALID AT:
041200Z — 23.1S 165.5E
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS – 050 KT, GUSTS 065 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
VECTOR TO 120 HR POSIT: 215 DEG/ 05 KTS

120 HRS, VALID AT:
051200Z — 24.6S 164.4E
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS – 045 KT, GUSTS 055 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY

REMARKS:
311500Z POSITION NEAR 17.8S 161.7E.
TROPICAL CYCLONE (TC) 05P (FREDA), LOCATED APPROXIMATELY 390 NM
NORTHWEST OF NOUMEA, NEW CALEDONIA, HAS TRACKED SOUTH-SOUTHEASTWARD
AT 09 KNOTS OVER THE PAST SIX HOURS. ANIMATED INFRARED SATELLITE
IMAGERY DEPICTS A CONTINUED WEAKENING TREND WITH WARMING CLOUD TOPS
AND THE LOSS OF ALL BANDING FEATURES. A 310906Z TRMM MICROWAVE IMAGE
SHOWS A TIGHTLY WRAPPED LOW LEVEL CIRCULATION CENTER AND THE DEEP
CONVECTION IS NOW CONFINED TO THE SOUTHERN SEMI-CIRCLE. THE INITIAL
POSITION IS BASED UPON EXTRAPOLATION FROM THE TRMM IMAGE AND
SATELLITE POSITION FIXES FROM MULTIPLE AGENCIES. THE INITIAL
INTENSITY HAS BEEN LOWERED TO 90 KNOTS TO REFLECT THE WEAKENING
TREND AND IS SUPPORTED BY DVORAK CURRENT INTENSITY ESTIMATES OF 90
KNOTS FROM PGTW, KNES AND FMEE. UPPER-LEVEL ANALYSIS AND ANIMATED
WATER VAPOR IMAGERY REVEALS GOOD POLEWARD OUTFLOW INTO A JET MAX
SOUTHEAST OF THE SYSTEM BUT IS BEING OFFSET BY STRONG (20-30 KNOTS)
VERTICAL WIND SHEAR. TC 05P IS TRACKING SOUTH-SOUTHEASTWARD UNDER
THE STEERING INFLUENCE OF THE DEEP SUBTROPICAL RIDGE (STR)
POSITIONED TO THE EAST. TC 05P IS FORECAST TO CONTINUE TRACKING
SOUTHWARD THROUGH TAU 36 BUT SHOULD THEN TURN SOUTHEASTWARD TOWARD
NEW CALEDONIA THROUGH TAU 96 DUE TO A DEEP MIDLATITUDE TROUGH,
CURRENTLY OVER AUSTRALIA, MOVING IN AND WEAKENING THE CURRENT
STEERING RIDGE. AFTER TAU 96 A DEEP-LAYERED STR WILL BUILD IN SOUTH
OF THE SYSTEM GIVING TC 05P A MORE SOUTHWESTWARD BIAS. TC 05P WILL
CONTINUE TO WEAKEN THROUGH THE FORECAST PERIOD AS STRONG VWS AND
COOL (24 TO 26 DEGREES CELSIUS) SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES SOUTH OF
NEW CALEDONIA, FURTHER DETERIORATE THE SYSTEM. DYNAMIC MODEL
GUIDANCE CONTINUES TO REMAIN IN POOR AGREEMENT. THE JTWC FORECAST
TRACK CONTINUES TO FAVOR THE ECMWF SOLUTION THROUGH TAU 72 BUT NOW
SHOWS THE SOUTHWESTWARD TURN DUE TO ECMWF LOSING THE VORTEX NEAR NEW
CALEDONIA. NOGAPS, GFDN, AND GFS ALL SHOW THIS GENERAL TURN IN THE
EXTENDED TAUS AND IS CONSISTENT WITH THE STR THAT IS FORECAST TO
BUILD IN. THERE IS LOW CONFIDENCE IN THE FORECAST TRACK DUE TO THE
POOR MODEL AGREEMENT. MAXIMUM SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHT AT 311200Z IS
40 FEET. NEXT WARNINGS AT 010300Z AND 011500Z.//
NNNN

Press Reports:

ABC News

Cyclone Freda lashes Solomon Islands

 

Tropical Cyclone Freda has struck the Solomon Islands, bringing heavy rains and winds of up to 130 kilometres per hour.

Witnesses say roofs have been ripped off houses and trees have been flattened, while rising rivers caused flooding in some areas.

There are no reports of deaths or injuries.

Sajay Prakesh of the Nadi Tropical Cyclone Centre in Fiji said although the cyclone was moving away, parts of the Solomon Islands were being hit by very strong winds and heavy rain.

Cyclone Freda is now a category two cyclone and it is continuing to intensify, he said on Saturday afternoon.

It will become category-three by midnight tonight, having very destructive winds.

Coastal and low-lying areas are at risk of inundation and fishermen have been advised to stay away from the sea.

Matthew Bass from the Bureau of Meteorology in Brisbane says Freda is no longer expected to hit Vanuatu and New Caledonia in the coming days.

At this stage its expected to maintain a reasonably southerly path and with that it isnt directly expected to affect Vanuatu in the next couple of days, he said.

At this stage around New Years were expecting it to be quite far from New Caledonia, still to the north-east of the islands.

Freda comes just weeks after Cyclone Evan killed at least five people in Samoa before destroying homes and stranding thousands of tourists in Fiji.

Queensland weather forecaster Peter Otto says the Freda is about 1,300 kilometres from the Australian coast.

This cyclone is expected to stay way off the eastern Australian coast for the next several days and the only impact we can see in the near future is the possibility of waves increasing into the early part of next week, but thats a long way off, he said.

Meanwhile, the weather bureau says a cyclone off Western Australia is unlikely to reach the coast.

Category-one Cyclone Mitchell is about 600 kilometres north-north-west of Exmouth and is expected to move south over the next 48 hours.

It is likely to intensify to a category-two overnight, before weakening again on Sunday.

However, David Farr from the Bureau of Meteorology says Mitchell is not expected to cross the coast.

On the current forecast track it wont affect the north west coast of WA, he said.

Theres a slight risk of gales on the upper west coast if the system takes a track a bit more to the south-east from what were expecting. But it is only a slight risk.

31 Dec 2012:

Cyclone Freda approaches northern New Caledonia

Updated at 7:07 pm 31 December 2012 (NZ Time)

Tropical Cyclone Freda is expected to weaken as it approaches New Caledonia over the next day or so.

The category four cyclone is now in the Coral Sea having brought heavy rain and damaged crops in parts of Solomon Islands.

It is expected to be about 300 kilometres west of the northern New Caledonian islands of Belep by midnight on Monday.

New Zealands MetService says the cyclone has sustained winds of 175 kilometres an hour at its centre with gusts reaching 275 kilometres an hour.

It says gales can be expected in the French territorys northernmost islands in the next 24 to 48 hours.

MetService says the slow-moving storm is expected to lie about 280 kilometres to the west of Poum, at the north of New Caledonias main island, by noon on Wednesday. radionz.co.nz

Study: Link Between Pot And Psychosis Tricky For Teens

CBS DC

WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — Marijuana use is being linked in both cause-and-effect directions between teens and symptoms of psychosis.

Researchers at Leiden University in the Netherlands believe that marijuana use may be linked to the development of psychotic symptoms in young people.

But they also believe that psychotic symptoms in teens may lead them to use pot.

“We have focused mainly on temporal order; is it the chicken or the egg? As the study shows, it is a bidirectional relationship,” wrote the study’s lead author Merel Griffith-Lendering, a doctoral candidate at Leiden University in The Netherlands, in an email to Reuters Health.

Previous research on the topic has established links between the two, but no conclusive evidence has been found to pointing to any exact causality.

A 2010 study of 3,800 Australian teenagers found that those who used marijuana were twice as likely to develop psychosis compared to teens…

View original post 235 more words

Airline pilots falling asleep in cockpit because of fatigue

Wales Air Forum

David MillwardBy David Millward, Transport Editor

The findings of a study by Simon Bennett of Leicester University, has rekindled fears that passenger safety could be put at risk by pilot fatigue.

While the Federal Aviation Administration in the USA has tightened rules governing flying hours following a crash in Buffalo, New York in which 50 people died, the European Aviation Safety Agency is looking to relax British regulations to bring them into line with other parts of the EU.

Two pilots speaking to the Daily Telegraph on condition of anonymity, admitted they had nodded off in the cockpit.

“It is particularly bad on night flights when you have to be awake at a time when your body wants to be asleep,” he said.

“I have woken up from a rest period to find my colleague asleep when he was supposed to be flying the aircraft.”

Another pilot who has flown both intercontinental and…

View original post 533 more words

How wet has 2012 been? Is it a record breaker?

Official blog of the Met Office news team

Provisional figures from the Met Office from 1 January to 26 December 2012 show that some parts of the UK have already had their wettest year on record.

New records have been set in England (1095.8 mm), northern England (1253 mm), E and NE England (1042.1 mm), Midlands (1048.2 mm), and East Anglia (788 mm), in a series that goes back to 1910.

A further 46 mm of rain is needed from 27 to 31 December for this to be the wettest year on record for the UK overall – the UK has had 1291.2 mm of rain from 1 January to 26 December. The wettest year on record for the UK is 2000 with 1337.3 mm.

In terms of temperature and sunshine the year as a whole is set to be unremarkable, both being around normal. However, overall 2012 is set to be cooler than 2011, but warmer than…

View original post 104 more words

Tropical Cyclone #Mitchell 291500Z near 19.4S 110.1E, moving SW at 10 knots – 291212 1705z

(Image: wunderground.com) Storm-Centered Satellite Image (Click image for source)

(Image: wunderground.com) Five Day Forecast Map (Click image for source)

(Image: JTWC) TC track (Click image for source)

Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC)

WTXS31 PGTW 291500
MSGID/GENADMIN/JOINT TYPHOON WRNCEN PEARL HARBOR HI//
SUBJ/TROPICAL CYCLONE 06S (MITCHELL) WARNING NR 004//
RMKS/
1. TROPICAL CYCLONE 06S (MITCHELL) WARNING NR 004
01 ACTIVE TROPICAL CYCLONE IN SOUTHIO
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS BASED ON ONE-MINUTE AVERAGE
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY

WARNING POSITION:
291200Z — NEAR 18.9S 110.2E
MOVEMENT PAST SIX HOURS – 185 DEGREES AT 10 KTS
POSITION ACCURATE TO WITHIN 060 NM
POSITION BASED ON CENTER LOCATED BY SATELLITE
PRESENT WIND DISTRIBUTION:
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS – 040 KT, GUSTS 050 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
RADIUS OF 034 KT WINDS – 060 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
060 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
055 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
050 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
REPEAT POSIT: 18.9S 110.2E

FORECASTS:
12 HRS, VALID AT:
300000Z — 20.9S 109.7E
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS – 040 KT, GUSTS 050 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
RADIUS OF 034 KT WINDS – 055 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
055 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
050 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
050 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
VECTOR TO 24 HR POSIT: 195 DEG/ 10 KTS

24 HRS, VALID AT:
301200Z — 22.9S 109.1E
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS – 035 KT, GUSTS 045 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
VECTOR TO 36 HR POSIT: 200 DEG/ 10 KTS

36 HRS, VALID AT:
310000Z — 24.8S 108.3E
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS – 035 KT, GUSTS 045 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
DISSIPATING AS A SIGNIFICANT TROPICAL CYCLONE OVER WATER
VECTOR TO 48 HR POSIT: 190 DEG/ 10 KTS

EXTENDED OUTLOOK:
48 HRS, VALID AT:
311200Z — 26.8S 108.0E
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS – 030 KT, GUSTS 040 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
DISSIPATED AS A SIGNIFICANT TROPICAL CYCLONE OVER WATER

REMARKS:
291500Z POSITION NEAR 19.4S 110.1E.
TROPICAL CYCLONE (TC) 06S (MITCHELL), LOCATED APPROXIMATELY 290 NM
NORTHWEST OF LEARMONTH, AUSTRALIA, HAS TRACKED SOUTHWARD
AT 10 KNOTS OVER THE PAST SIX HOURS. ANIMATED INFRARED
SATELLITE IMAGERY (IR) DEPICTS THE LOW-LEVEL CIRCULATION CENTER
HAS BECOME ELONGATED AND CONVECTION HAS WEAKENED WITH A SMALL COLD
DENSE OVERCAST FEATURE BEGINNING TO FORM. THE INITIAL POSITION IS
BASED ON THE IR LOOP AND SATELLITE FIXES FROM MULTIPLE REPORTING
AGENCIES. THE INITIAL INTENSITY IS ASSESSED AT 40 KNOTS BASED ON THE
WEAKENING TREND OBSERVED IN THE IR AND DECREASING DVORAK INTENSITY
ESTIMATES FROM ALL AGENCIES. UPPER-LEVEL ANALYSIS REVEALS TC 06S HAS
MAINTAINED POLEWARD OUTFLOW INTO THE SUBTROPICAL JET LOCATED OVER
CENTRAL AUSTRALIA BUT THE UPPER-LEVEL LOW WHICH WAS ENHANCING THIS
OUTFLOW HAS FILLED. TC 06S IS FORECAST TO CONTINUE
TRACKING SOUTH-SOUTHWESTWARD THROUGH THE FORECAST PERIOD ALONG THE
WESTERN PERIPHERY OF THE SUBTROPICAL RIDGE THAT IS MERIDIONALLY
ORIENTED ALONG THE WESTERN COAST OF AUSTRALIA. DYNAMIC MODEL
GUIDANCE IS IN GOOD AGREEMENT LENDING TO HIGH CONFIDENCE IN THE JTWC
TRACK FORECAST, WHICH IS POSITIONED CLOSE TO THE MULTI-MODEL
CONSENSUS. TC 06S IS FORECAST TO MAINTAIN INTENSITY FOR THE NEXT 12
HOURS AND THEN SLOWLY WEAKEN AS COOLER SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES (24
TO 26 DEGREES CELSIUS) ARE ENCOUNTERED SOUTH OF 20S. TC 06S IS
EXPECTED TO DISSIPATE BY TAU 48 DUE TO THE DECREASING ENVIRONMENTAL
CONDITIONS. MAXIMUM SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHT AT 291200Z IS 17 FEET.
NEXT WARNINGS AT 300300Z AND 301500Z.//
NNNN

Severe Cold in Russia: 135 killed over the past two weeks, nearly 1,000 hospitalized – 271212 1115z

Abnormally low winter temperatures in Russia continue to claim more and more lives. Twenty-one people froze to death in only one day; 147 others were hospitalized with frostbite.

https://timenewsfeed.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/russian-winter.jpg?w=360&h=240&crop=1

The cold weather in central Russia is not going to get any warmer soon.

On December 19, the cold has reached St. Petersburg, where temperatures fell below -20 degrees Centigrade.

It is 30 degrees below zero in the Ivanovo region, -22C in the Kaluga region, and -25 in Tver.

In Moscow, for example, the cold snap came on December 15 and will last until next Wednesday, forecasters say.

At the weekend, night temperatures will drop to 26 degrees below zero Centigrade.

“The idea that alcohol warms people up from within in freezing weather is wrong. Alcohol only can only mislead people and their defenses – it can make people feel that they are warm. Alcohol is harmful in cold weather. One needs normal hearty food and warm clothing to be safe,” Russia’s Chief Sanitary Doctor Gennady Onishchenko said.

Very cold weather has come to almost the entire territory of Russia last week.

Daytime temperatures vary from minus 17-20 in Moscow to minus 50 in Siberia.

As usual, the Russians were not prepared to sudden cold.

In Novosibirsk, people have to live in cold apartments.

Twelve apartment buildings on Nikitin Street were left without heating after a heat pipeline burst.

Ecology in Siberian cities worsens considerably because of low temperatures.

Many drivers do not shut off engines for the night to be able to use their cars in the morning. As a result, everything is shrouded in dense smog.

A state of emergency occurred in Bashkortostan last week.

A heat pipe burst in the center of the capital of Ufa.

As many as 155 facilities and more than 9,000 people found themselves in the disaster zone.
School classes were canceled. It took specialists nearly 24 hours to eliminate the consequences.

Another part of Ufa was left without electricity for nearly 8 hours.

Five districts were left without electricity and heat in the Altai region of Russia.

Nearly 8,500 people were left to the mercy of fate and extremely low temperatures.

In Makhachkala, the snowfall, which began on Saturday night and did not stop until Monday, paralyzed the work of public transport.

Wednesday, 19 December, 2012 at 11:48 (11:48 AM) UTC RSOE

Power and water

In the city of Samara, where temperatures drop to minus 27 degrees for the second week already, 152 homes were left without heat.

By lunchtime, temperatures in apartments dropped to +14 degrees Centigrade.

The town of Balashov, the Saratov region, with the population of 80,000 was left without water because of the cold snap.

Ice from the local river plugged water pipes, forcing divers to fix the problem.

People suffer from cold in the city of Saratov, where water pipes began to burst.

As many as 61 incidents were registered on the city’s water pipe system.

In 16 cases, water was flowing directly into the streets, turning roads into skating rinks.

Wednesday, 19 December, 2012 at 11:53 (11:53 AM) UTC RSOE

27 Dec 2012:

Update:

A deep freeze has claimed 135 lives in Russia over the past two weeks, the Health Ministry reports.

Eight people have frozen to death in the past 24 hours.

More than 2,000 people have suffered from frostbite this winter, nearly half of them were hospitalized, the ministry says.

Many regions suspended school classes and temporarily shut down kindergartens due to severe freezes.

Thursday, 27 December, 2012 at 10:50 UTC RSOE

Related:

“Ukrainian health officials say 37 people have died from the severe cold spell that hit the country this month. Temperatures have dropped as low as minus-17 C (2 F). The Health Ministry said Tuesday that 190 people have sought medical help for hypothermia” –  Huffington Post

Russian:

Тяжелая холодная в России: 21 замерз, 147 госпитализированы, ночью температура упадет до минус 26С

Аномально низкое зимние температуры в России продолжают утверждать, все больше и больше жизней.

Двадцать один человек замерзли насмерть в один день; 147 других были госпитализированы с обморожением.

Холодная погода в центральной России не собираются получить любую теплее в ближайшее время.

19 декабря, холодный достигла Санкт-Петербурге, где температура опустилась ниже -20 градусов по Цельсию.

Он находится в 30 градусов ниже нуля в Ивановской области,-22С в Калужской области, и -25 в Твери.

В Москве, например, похолодание пришло на 15 декабря и продлится до следующей среды, синоптики говорят.

В выходные ночью температура упадет до 26 градусов ниже нуля по Цельсию.

“Идея, что алкоголь согревает людей изнутри на морозе не так Алкоголь только может только ввести в заблуждение людей и их защита -… Она может заставить людей чувствовать, что они теплые алкоголь вреден в холодную погоду Нужно нормальное обильная еда и теплая одежду, чтобы быть в безопасности “, Россия Главный санитарный врач Геннадий Онищенко.

Очень холодная погода пришла почти всю территорию России на прошлой неделе.

Дневная температура колеблется от минус 17-20 в Москве до минус 50 в Сибири.

Как обычно, русские не были готовы к внезапным холодным.

В Новосибирске, люди вынуждены жить в холодных квартирах.

Двенадцать жилых домов на улице Никитина остались без отопления после взрыва газопровода тепла.

Экология в сибирских городах значительно ухудшается из-за низких температурах.

Многие водители не выключать двигатели на ночь, чтобы быть в состоянии использовать свои машины по утрам. В результате, все окутано плотным смогом.

Чрезвычайное произошло в Башкирии на прошлой неделе.

Тепловые трубы ворвались в центре столицы Уфы.

Целых 155 объектов и более 9000 человек оказались в зоне бедствия.
Школьные классы были отменены. Он принял специалисты почти 24 часов, чтобы ликвидировать последствия.

Другая часть Уфа осталась без электричества в течение почти 8 часов.

Пять районов остались без электричества и тепла в Алтайском крае России.

Около 8500 человек были оставлены на произвол судьбы и экстремально низких температур.

В Махачкале снегопад, который начался в ночь на субботу и не останавливался до понедельника, парализована работа общественного транспорта.

“Украинские чиновники здравоохранения говорят, 37 человек умерли от тяжелых холодов, которые обрушились на страну в этом месяце. Температуры упали до минус-17 C (2 F). Министерство здравоохранения заявил во вторник, что 190 человек обратились за медицинской помощью для гипотермии »- Huffington Post

Питание и вода

В городе Самаре, где температура опускается до минус 27 градусов в течение второй недели уже, 152 домов остались без тепла.

К обеду температура в квартирах упала до +14 градусов Цельсия.

Город Балашов, Саратовская область, с населением в 80000 остались без воды из-за похолодания.

Лед из местных рек подключен водопровод, заставляя водолазов, чтобы решить проблему.

Люди страдают от холода в город Саратов, где водопроводные трубы начали лопаться.

Целых 61 случаев были зарегистрированы на Водопроводные трубы города.

В 16 случаях вода текла прямо на улицы, превращая дороги в катки.

Среду, 19 декабря 2012 в 11:53 (11:53 AM) UTC RSOE

Ukrainian:

“Українські чиновники охорони здоров’я кажуть, 37 осіб померли від важких холодів, які обрушилися на країну в цьому місяці. Температури впали до мінус-17 C (2 F). Міністерство охорони здоров’я заявив у вівторок, що 190 людей звернулися за медичною допомогою для гіпотермії »- Huffington Post

Update:

In Moscow it felt like 10 below – part of a week-long cold spell across Russia that has parts of Siberia feeling like 50 below.

Across Russia, the deep freeze killed at least 45 people over the last week, 21 on Tuesday alone, the English-language Moscow Times reported Wednesday.

Nearly 270 people were hospitalized, more than half with frostbite.

Russia’s emergency ministry urged everyone in Moscow to stay indoors on Wednesday, while forecasters said the cold could get worse over the weekend.

Siberia has been hardest hit, with cities like Novosibirsk dipping to minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit on Wednesday.

With the wind chill, it felt like minus 47.

The temperatures have been abnormally low for Russia at this time of year.

Last week, the cold in Siberia nearly killed two circus elephants after their trailer caught fire.

A handler quickly devised a plan, buying two cases of vodka from a nearby village and serving it to the elephants — albeit diluted with warm water.

“After that they roared as if they were in the jungle. Apparently they were happy,” the unnamed handler was quoted as saying.

Thursday, 20 December, 2012 at 04:00 UTC RSOE

Russian:

В Москве она почувствовала, как 10 ниже – часть недельного холода в России, которая имеет частях Сибири чувствуя, как 50 ниже.

По всей России глубокой заморозки погибли по меньшей мере 45 человек за последнюю неделю, 21 во вторник только на английском языке Moscow Times сообщила в среду.

Около 270 человек были госпитализированы, более половины с обморожением.

МЧС России по призвал всех в Москве, чтобы оставаться в помещении в среду, в то время как синоптики сказал, что холодная может ухудшиться в минувшие выходные.

Сибирь была наиболее пострадавших, с таких городов, как Новосибирск погружения до минус 20 градусов по Фаренгейту в среду.

С ветром холод, он чувствовал, что минус 47.

Температура была аномально низкой для России в это время года.

На прошлой неделе холода в Сибири чуть не убил двух слонов цирк после прицепом загорелся.

Обработчик быстро разработал план, покупка двух случаях водки из соседней деревни и обслуживающих его к слонам – хотя и развести теплой водой.

“После этого они ревели, как если бы они были в джунглях. Видимо, они были счастливы,” неназванный обработчик был процитирован.

Четверг, 20 Декабря 2012 в 04:00 UTC RSOE

27 декабря 2012:

Обновление:
Глубокой заморозки утверждал, 135 жизней в России за последние две недели, сообщает Министерство здравоохранения.
Восемь человек замерзли до смерти за последние 24 часов.

Более 2000 человек пострадали от обморожения этой зимой, почти половина из них были госпитализированы, сказано в сообщении.

Многие регионы приостановлена ​​школьных классов и временно закрыты детские сады из-за серьезных замерзает.

Четверг, 27 Декабре 2012 в 10:50 UTC RSOE

New vaccine signals dawn without dengue

The Health Advocate

Until now, a vaccine to counter the dengue virus is still in the pipeline. Simultaneously, the mosquito-transmitted disease is rapidly spreading throughout the planet. The virus’ tropical and subtropical lairs are no longer exclusive hosts to an expanding number of victims. Even temperate zones like Europe are succumbing to dengue, which is starting to reach epidemic proportions.

The World Health Organization (WHO) released alarming statistics. The Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia are especially vulnerable, registering more than 30,000 cases in India since 2007. Leading pharmaceutical company Sanofi is developing a vaccine in which the current second stage tests are being performed on 4,000 children in Thailand. The figure represents the disease’s rapid progression within the Southeast Asian country, its rural zones no longer exempt from what was once an urban epidemic.

The urgency of disease prevention in the context of its worldwide toll becomes even more pressing. WHO reported 50…

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Snowmobilers found safe in Summit County

fox13now.com

SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah — Search and rescue crews located two men who were reported missing after they failed to return from a snowmobiling trip Wednesday night.

The snowmobilers were in the Lambert Meadows area, east of Kamas. Search and rescue crews were dispatched to find them around 7 p.m. The snowmobilers were located around 10 p.m.

Sgt. Ron Bridge of the Summit County Sheriff’s Office said the area is not a high-risk area for avalanches.

The men are seasoned snowmobilers and were dressed for the harsh conditions, according to a statement by the Sheriff’s Office.

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Ukraine helicopter crash in Kirovograd kills five

Wales Air Forum

map

A Ukrainian helicopter belonging to the interior ministry has crashed in the centre of the country, killing all five people on board, officials say.

They say the Mi-8 helicopter hit the ground shortly after taking off from an airport in the city of Olexandriya in the Kirovograd region.

Three crew members and two engineers on board died.

Correspondents say that helicopter accidents are common in former Soviet countries.

They usually happen because of poor maintenance, cost-cutting and scant regard for safety regulations.

The interior ministry says the cause of the crash is being investigated.

Mi-8 helicopters are usually deployed by the ministry to transport internal troops, correspondents say.

Sourced by BBC News

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Tropical Cyclone 04A (Four) Tropical Cyclone 4 240900Z near 7.7N 52.4E moving WSW at 15 knots (JTWC) – Updated 241212 1140z

(Image: JTWC) TC Warning Graphic (Click image for source)

(Image: wunderground.com)
Storm-Centered Satellite Image
(Click image for source)

Tropical storm Four is forecast to strike Somalia at about 06:00 GMT on 25 December

.Data supplied by the US Navy and Air Force Joint Typhoon Warning Center suggest that the point of landfall will be near6.9 N,49.7 E.

Four is expected to bring 1-minute maximum sustained winds to the region of around 74 km/h (46 mph).Wind gusts in the area may be considerably higher.

The information above is provided for guidance only and should not be used to make life or death decisions or decisions relating to property. Anyone in the region who is concerned for their personal safety or property should contact their official national weather agency or warning centre for advice.

This alert is provided by TropicalStorm Risk (TSR) which is sponsored by Aon Benfield, Crawford & Company and University College London (UCL)

Tropical Cyclone Threatens Somalia

Rob Miller

By , Senior Meteorologist
December 23, 2012; 11:00 AM
A satellite image of Tropical Cyclone 4 in the Indian Ocean. This image comes courtesy of the US Navy.

“A recently developed tropical cyclone will threaten portions of Somalia with heavy rain early this week.

Tropical Cyclone 4 developed Saturday night, EST, nearly 600 miles east-southeast of Cape Guardafui, Somalia. As of Sunday morning, EST, this system had sustained winds near 45 mph.

This cyclone was moving westward at about 18 mph. Some slight strengthening is possible through Monday morning before weakening will occur. This strengthening could allow the system to become a moderate to perhaps strong tropical storm briefly.

Rainfall from this system will likely reach Somalia starting Monday afternoon and will continue through Tuesday. Rainfall amounts will generally average 2-4 inches (50-100 mm), with local amounts exceeding 6 inches (150 mm). For some areas, this would approach or even equal the normal annual rainfall.

Widespread strong winds are not expected to impact Somalia as the system is expected to weaken, perhaps even dissipate, prior to making landfall early Tuesday. Still, a few wind gusts of 30-40 mph (50-65 kph) may occur, especially at the coast.” – accuweather.com

TSR logoN Indian Ocean: Storm Alert issued at 24 Dec, 2012 6:00 GMT

Tropical Storm FOUR (04A) currently located near 7.9 N 53.0 E is forecast to strike land to the following likelihood(s) at the given lead time(s):

Yellow Alert Country(s) or Province(s)
Somalia
probability for TS is 60% within 12 hours
Yellow Alert City(s) and Town(s)
Eyl (8.0 N, 49.9 E)
probability for TS is 60% within 12 hours

Note that
Yellow Alert (Elevated) is CAT 1 or above to between 10% and 30% probability, or TS to above 50% probability.
CAT 1 means Severe Cyclonic Storm strength winds of at least 74 mph, 119 km/h or 64 knots 1-min sustained.
TS means Tropical Storm strength winds of at least 39 mph, 63 km/h or 34 knots 1-min sustained.

For graphical forecast information and further details please visit http://www.tropicalstormrisk.com/

Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC)

WTIO31 PGTW 240900
MSGID/GENADMIN/JOINT TYPHOON WRNCEN PEARL HARBOR HI//
SUBJ/TROPICAL CYCLONE 04A (FOUR) WARNING NR 006//
RMKS/
1. TROPICAL CYCLONE 04A (FOUR) WARNING NR 006
01 ACTIVE TROPICAL CYCLONE IN NORTHIO
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS BASED ON ONE-MINUTE AVERAGE
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY

WARNING POSITION:
240600Z — NEAR 7.9N 53.0E
MOVEMENT PAST SIX HOURS – 250 DEGREES AT 15 KTS
POSITION ACCURATE TO WITHIN 060 NM
POSITION BASED ON CENTER LOCATED BY SATELLITE
PRESENT WIND DISTRIBUTION:
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS – 040 KT, GUSTS 050 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
RADIUS OF 034 KT WINDS – 055 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
050 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
050 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
055 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
REPEAT POSIT: 7.9N 53.0E

FORECASTS:
12 HRS, VALID AT:
241800Z — 7.2N 50.4E
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS – 035 KT, GUSTS 045 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
DISSIPATING AS A SIGNIFICANT TROPICAL CYCLONE OVER WATER
VECTOR TO 24 HR POSIT: 255 DEG/ 12 KTS

24 HRS, VALID AT:
250600Z — 6.5N 48.1E
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS – 030 KT, GUSTS 040 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
DISSIPATED AS A SIGNIFICANT TROPICAL CYCLONE OVER LAND

REMARKS:
240900Z POSITION NEAR 7.7N 52.4E.
TROPICAL CYCLONE (TC) 04A, LOCATED APPROXIMATELY 250 NM SOUTHEAST OF
CAPE GUARDAFUI, SOMALIA, HAD TRACKED WEST-SOUTHWESTWARD AT 15 KNOTS
OVER THE PAST SIX HOURS. ANIMATED MULTISPECTRAL SATELLITE IMAGERY
(MSI) SHOWS A WELL DEFINED LOW LEVEL CIRCULATION CENTER (LLCC) THAT
HAS BECOME PARTIALLY EXPOSED WITH THE BULK OF THE DEEP CONVECTION
NOW DISPLACED TO THE WEST. THE INITIAL POSITION IS BASED ON THE
DEFINED LLCC READILY APPARENT IN THE MSI WITH HIGH CONFIDENCE. THE
INITIAL INTENSITY OF 40 KNOTS IS BASED ON AN AVERAGE OF DVORAK
CURRENT INTENSITY ESTIMATES FROM PGTW AND KNES RANGING FROM 35 TO 45
KNOTS. UPPER LEVEL ANALYSIS REVEALS GOOD POLEWARD OUTFLOW AND NOW
STRONG (20-30 KNOT) EASTERLY VERTICAL WIND SHEAR (VWS). TC O4A IS
CURRENTLY STEERING UNDER A LOW TO MID-LEVEL SUBTROPICAL RIDGE TO THE
NORTH. TC 04A WILL CONTINUE TRACK WEST-SOUTHWESTWARD AND SLOWLY
WEAKEN AS THE VWS CONTINUES TO SEPARATE THE CONVECTION FROM THE
LLCC, MAKING LANDFALL ALONG THE COAST OF SOMALIA PRIOR TO TAU 24.
THE TC WILL DISSIPATE OVER LAND BY TAU 24 DUE TO THE INCREASED VWS
AND LAND INTERACTION. MODEL GUIDANCE IS IN FAIR AGREEMENT WITH THE
EXCEPTION OF THE GFDN AND WBAR. GFDN TAKES A MORE SOUTHWESTWARD
TRACK ALONG THE COAST AND WBAR TAKES AN UNREALISTICALLY FAST TRACK
WEST WITH SPEEDS OVER 20 KNOTS. DUE TO THIS, THE FORECAST TRACK IS
CLOSE TO THE NOGAPS AND GFS SOLUTION WHICH ARE BOTH CLOSE TO
CONSENSUS. DUE TO THE OVERALL GOOD AGREEMENT WITH THE DISSIPATION
SCENARIO IN THE MODELS AND A WELL UNDERSTOOD ENVIRONMENT, FORECAST
CONFIDENCE IS HIGH. MAXIMUM SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHT AT 240600Z IS 18
FEET. NEXT WARNINGS AT 241500Z, 242100Z AND 250300Z.//
NNNN

Cold Snap in Ukraine Claims 83 Lives, 57 of froze to death on streets – 211212 1951z

“KIEV — A Health Ministry official reported on Friday that the cold snap that has been sweeping across Ukraine over the past two weeks has claimed 83 lives, with 57 of the victims freezing to death on streets. During a press conference, adviser to the health minister Vladimir Yurchenko stated that for the month of December, a total of 632 people received treatment for frostbite and 526 were admitted to hospitals. The worst hit by the cold spell were the central and northern sections of the country. Yurchenko said the frigid weather killed nine people in the Kiev region, 10 in Sumy and 11 in Cherkassy. Temperatures in Ukraine’s capital city dipped to minus 7 degrees Celsius during daytime and minus 17 in the evening. Central, eastern and northern, parts of the country saw night-time temperatures plummet to as low as minus 28 degrees. To ease the situation, authorities have set up more than 1,500 warm shelters providing food and heating sources across the nation.” – ubalert.com

Ukrainian:

“Київ – офіційний Міністерство охорони здоров’я повідомило в п’ятницю, що похолодання, яке захльостує Україну за останні два тижні заявила 83 життів, 57 жертв замерзаючих на вулиці під час прес-конференції радник. міністр охорони здоров’я Володимир Юрченко заявив, що за грудень місяць, в загальній складності 632 осіб отримали лікування обмороження і 526 були госпіталізовані. найбільш постраждалих від холодів було центральній і північній частинах країни. Юрченко сказав, що холодні погоди загинули дев’ятеро людей в Київській області, 10 у Сумській, 11 у Черкасах. Температура в столиці України опустилася до мінус 7 градусів за Цельсієм вдень і мінус 17 вечора. центральній, східній і північній, частині країни бачили нічний час температура виска до мінус 28 градусів. Щоб полегшити ситуацію, влада створила понад 1500 теплих притулків забезпеченню харчовими продуктами і джерел тепла по всій країні “. – Ubalert.com

Russian:

“Киев – официальный Министерство здравоохранения сообщило в пятницу, что похолодание, которое захлестывает Украину за последние две недели заявила 83 жизней, 57 жертв замерзающих на улице во время пресс-конференции советник. министр здравоохранения Владимир Юрченко заявил, что за декабрь месяц, в общей сложности 632 человек получили лечение обморожения и 526 были госпитализированы. наиболее пострадавших от холодов было центральной и северной частях страны. Юрченко сказал, что холодные погоды погибли девять человек в Киевской области, 10 в Сумской, 11 в Черкассах. Температура в столице Украины опустилась до минус 7 градусов по Цельсию днем и минус 17 вечера. центральной, восточной и северной, части страны видели ночное время температура отвес до минус 28 градусов. чтобы облегчить ситуацию, власти создали более 1500 теплых убежищ обеспечению пищевыми продуктами и источников тепла по всей стране “. – ubalert.com

Heavy rain brings over 100mm of rain to parts of Scotland – rainfall totals across the UK

Official blog of the Met Office news team

There has been some very wet weather across much of the UK seeing well over an inch of rain in the last 24 hours. The wettest place in the UK, in the 48 hours to 6 am this morning is Tyndrum, Perthshire with 102.4 mm of rain, with 94.6 mm of this falling in the last 24 hours.

The wettest place in England was Cardinham, Cornwall with 62.8 mm, in Northern Ireland was Ballypatrick Forest, Antrim with 57.8 mm and in Wales it was Tredegar Park with 54.4 mm of rain.

Although there will continue to be some patchy outbreaks of rain across eastern parts of Scotland today, generally the rain will continue to ease leaving a drier day for many, before more heavy rain pushes into the southwest of England later this evening and across Scotland tomorrow morning.

48 hour UK Rainfall Totals 19 Dec 0600 am – 21 Dec 0600…

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Police today issued a warning and image of a suspect following an assault in Exeter

Associated Image

Police have today issued an EVOFIT image of a suspect following an assault in Exeter.

Police are appealing for witnesses following the incident along The Quay in Exeter on the evening of Friday 7 December 2012.

At about 7.50pm a woman in her thirties was running along the canal path between The Port Royal pub and Trews Weir Bridge when she was approached by a man from behind and pushed against a wall. She screamed and the man ran off.

The suspect is described as Indian or Asian in appearance, aged approximately 28 to 30 years old and of a slight build. He has thick wavy dark hair which is short and distinctly has bushy eyebrows. He was wearing dark clothing and a scarf around his neck that also covered his lower face.

Police are urging the public to take care when out alone and to take some sensible precautions, such as running with a partner, particularly during the hours of darkness and always carry a mobile phone.

Anyone who recognises the suspect or has any information please contact police on 101 quoting reference DE/12/12155 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Emerging Technology: ‘Invisible knife’ that lets doctors cut with sound

Technology Buzz

This New technology uses a carbon nanotube-coated lens to convert light into sound waves that are then focused enough to cut through skin.
Scientists have made an ‘invisible knife’ that uses sound, instead of a sharp edge, to cut, paving the way for non-invasive detailed medical procedures.

The technology concentrates high-amplitude sound waves that are strong enough to cut flesh onto an area of 75 by 400 micrometers (0.075 by 0.4 millimeters), scientists at the University of Michigan announced on Wednesday.

“We believe this could be used as an invisible knife for noninvasive surgery,” said Jay Guo, co-author of the paper on the research. “Nothing pokes into your body, just the ultrasound beam. And it is so tightly focused you can disrupt individual cells.”

The beam is generated by converting light from a pulsed laser into sound by beaming it through a lens coated withcarbon nanotubes and a rubbery…

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UNHCR Reports 55 people missing or drowned off northern Somali coast

MIGRANTS AT SEA

UNHCR Press Release:

“Fifty-five people are drowned or missing after an overcrowded boat capsized off the Somali coast on Tuesday night (18 December). UNHCR is greatly saddened by this latest tragic incident – the biggest loss of life in the Gulf of Aden since February 2011 when 57 Somali refugees and migrants from the Horn of Africa drowned while attempting to reach Yemen.

According to five of the survivors – all young Somali men – the boat was overcrowded and ran into trouble almost immediately after leaving the port of Bosasso in northern Somalia on Tuesday. It capsized just 15 minutes into its journey, spilling all 60 passengers into sea. Those on board were Ethiopians and Somalis.

To date, 23 bodies have been recovered, including those of 14 women, eight men, and a boy said to be less than four years of age. Five of the dead are confirmed to…

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13-step plan to nudge Jamaica away from homophobia

76 CRIMES

The human rights advocacy group AIDS-Free World has filed a legal challenge against two Jamaican broadcasters that refused to air a paid announcement called “Love and Respect” advocating tolerance for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. But that is merely the latest in a series of initiatives by activists, including the Jamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG), aimed at rescuing Jamaica from homophobia. Here are other steps in the process that AIDS-Free World has taken, starting in 2009:

  • We organized the first-ever “Walk for Tolerance” in 2009.
  • We worked for 3 years to help J-FLAG develop and implement a more robust system to document human rights violations against LGBT in order to more accurately respond to the needs of the LGBT community and also help J-FLAG with the development of their own advocacy efforts.
  • Also in partnership with J-FLAG, AIDS-Free World launched the first-ever legal challenge to the country’s anti-sodomy…

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Persistent rainfall across the UK

Official blog of the Met Office news team

We all know the UK sees a good deal of rainfall, but it’s not often you cannot see the country at all on a rainfall radar image like the one below.

As you can see from the picture, taken from 6.50 am this morning, rain is falling widely across a large part of the UK.

Some places have seen persistent rain since the early hours of yesterday (Wednesday) morning, with some fairly high rainfall totals.

Rainfall totals in the table below are from 00:00 am on 19 December to 10:00 am on 20 December

Station Area Rainfall (mm)
Plymouth, Mountbatten Devon 55
Cardinham, Bodmin Cornwall 54.6
Camborne Cornwall 49.2
Tredegar, Bryn Bach Park Gwent 44.8
Thorney Island West Sussex 43.6
Hurn Dorset 42.8
Cardiff, Bute Park South Glamorgan 42
Shoreham Airport West Sussex 41
Usk Monmouthshire 40
Ballypatrick Forest Antrim 39.8

More rain is expected to fall over the next…

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Offshore hub airport plans unveiled

Wales Air Forum

Offshore hub airport plans unveiledPhoto credit: Beckett Rankine

Ambitious plans for a four-runway offshore mega hub airport in the English Channel have been unveiled.

The £40bn scheme would be based on a man-made island off the coast of Kent.

The idea, put forward by maritime engineers Beckett Rankine, would allow for 24-hour operations because aircraft would take off and land over water, limiting disruption to residents on the mainland.

The proposed Goodwin Sands site would use the existing high-speed rail connection to get passengers into London in 40 minutes.

Linked to the mainland by an underwater train tunnel, the airport would have space for four runways a mile apart and could eventually accommodate six.

The site, two miles from Margate and Broadstairs, would not interfere with shipping lanes, according to details released to the London Evening Standard.

A spokesman for the firm said: “We believe an offshore hub airport is the only option…

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UK Government plan to close 50% of UK Coastguard Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centres – Updated 07 Feb 2013 0001Z

The UK Government plans to close 50% of the UK’s Coastguard Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centres, starting 28 Sept 2012

There is a campaign to prevent this from happening, whilst Goatys News usually tries to be unbiased, in this matter it fully supports this campaign.

19 Dec 2012 Portland Coastguard Search & Rescue Helicopter House of Commons Adjournment Debate at bottom of page

Background:

In December 2010 the UK Government announced modernisation consultation proposals for HM Coastguard. At that time the intention was to reduce the UK’s eighteen Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centres to just two centres which would operate 24hrs per day. These centres (MOC’s) would be supported by only five sub centres that would only be operational throughout “daylight hours only”.(See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12007031).

UK Coastguard Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres (MRCC’s) are responsible for the co-ordination of Search and Rescue (SAR) along the UK coastline, as well as providing shipping information and a number of other essential services along the UK coastline. The video below gives a more in depth look at MRCCs:

Current MRCC’s are located in areas of high maritime activity. The closure of any of these MRCC’s will result in a loss of vital local knowledge which will not be able to available to Coastguard Officers outside of the immediate areas concerned. This local knowledge is gained over years of service and through experience and campaigners do not believe that sufficient concern has been shown by the DfT and MCA to addressing this issue.

The retention of and networking of all current MRCC’s is a sensible and safe way to “modernise” HM Coastguard.  This would mean that when an MRCC is busy dealing with several incidents, some of the additional workload including normal daily tasks may be shared by a neighbouring station who may not be as busy at that time. By doing so HM Coastguard will benefit from the additional pool of staff and management which will in turn lead to less disruption.

Announcing the cuts, Shipping Minister Mike Penning MP said “Our seas are becoming busier, with larger ships and increasing numbers of offshore renewable energy platforms making key areas of our seas more congested. There are also increasing numbers of people using our beaches, coastlines and seas for leisure activities.

The proposals were overwhelmingly rejected by EVERY Coastguard station, campaigners and by the Transport Select Committee who conducted a full investigation and concluded that the modernisation proposals were “seriously flawed”.

On 14th July 2011, the then Secretary of State for Transport; Rt.Hon Philip Hammond MP announced that the Government had looked at the responses to the original consultation and had examined the evidence. He then announced new consultation proposals which indicated that eleven named Coastguard stations would to be retained on a 24/7 basis but that eight remaining named stations would close. Those stations are:

Brixham, Portland, Swansea, Liverpool, Thames, Yarmouth, Clyde and Forth.

The Coastguard SOS campaign is open to anyone who understands and agrees with their belief that the issue should not be used as a political football. It is supported by concerned members of the public, Coastguard rescue officers (CRO’s), serving and former Coastguard officers, Politicians and also by some famous names too.

They are are committed to continuing the effort to seek safer modernisation proposals and they will continue to campaign in a reasoned, dignified and balanced way in order to achieve their aim of securing the long term future of every Coastguard MRCC.

This map shows the vast areas of UK coastline which will be left at risk if Govt plans to close Coastguard rescue coordination centres are allowed to proceed.

Coastguard rescue coordination centre closure map

(Image: ‏@Coastguard_SOS)
MRCC Closure Map
(Click image for source)

The MCA have said that “the dates and sequence of closures will be driven by operational requirements during the implementation of the programme and, as such, are subject to ongoing review”.

Coastguard MRCC Due to close
Aberdeen
Belfast
Brixham 2013/14
Clyde Dec 2012
Dover Unpublished
Falmouth
Forth 28.09.2012
Holyhead
Humber
Liverpool 2014/15
Milford Haven
Portland 2013/14
Shetland
Stornoway
Swansea 2014/15
Solent 2013/14
Thames 2014/15
Yarmouth Spring 2013
* Total includes a manned desk at London Coastguard

So why now?

Time is very precious now with only 5 weeks to go before the first station closure (Forth Coastguard) so vital that people understand the urgency now.

The Transport Select Committee have reopened their inquiry and are taking new evidence.Campaigners are hoping that submissions from Coastguard officers, campaigners and concerned members of the public will still see a different outcome. Either way, they say they will continue to support all affected stations until nothing more can be done.

Invaluable knowledge

Richard Reece, a retired master mariner, talking about Portland coastguard,  said the loss of local knowledge was the main concern

Mr Reece, who worked at Poole Harbour Control, said: Its a concern because theres lives at stake here.

Search-and-rescue operations are often about finding people who dont know where they are themselves.

Weymouth fisherman Brett Hibbitt said: Its crazy you are going to remove a lot of local knowledge from the coastline and its going to compromise safety, not only in Weymouth but quite a substantial chunk of the south coast.

Its not only the local fishermen its the local leisure people who go out there. They get into trouble, they do not know where they are and they have just got their line of sight.

The coastguards knowledge is invaluable in that situation, it can get a lifeboat to them and save lives in minutes rather than search around for hours for them.

Dan Jenkins, whose company Jenkins Marine operates tugs and barges out of Poole said: These changes affect all vessels.

The highest level of concern would be for the non-commercial traffic that carry less sophisticated equipment than other vessels.

He added: Any lowering of the level of local knowledge could ultimately increase the risk to life.

–  BBC News

These are views that are echoed by many folk around the UK, once they are in procession of the full facts..

Search and Rescue

(Photo: Crown Copyright/MOD 2012)
RAF Sea King Rescue Helicopter

Last year the Daily Telegraph (29 Nov 2011) was saying

“Britains highly respected Royal Navy and RAF search and rescue teams are to be privatised despite objections from the Duke of Cambridge.”

and,

“By 2016 the countrys coastline and mountains will be patrolled by civilians replacing 90 RAF and Royal Navy pilots, the Government announced. The move will mean the end to 60 years of military search and rescue by servicemen who have saved thousands of lives both at sea and off mountain tops.”

Apart from the RAF and the RN, our current Search and Rescue (SAR) providers include the Coastguard, who have their own rescue helicopters. They are already facing planned cuts 50% of Coastguard Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centres (MRCCs) are to be axed.

(Photo: MCA)
Coastguard Rescue Helicopter

One might ask whether SAR ops run by private companies (presumably for profit) would ever be able to match the very high standards the public have enjoyed for the last three decades.

Both the future privatisation of SAR & the Coastguard cuts could result in a loss of vital expertise and local knowledge, leading to unnecessary and avoidable loss of life.

Links:

Find out more about HM Coastguard, their assets, area of operations, and our history (MCA).

If after reading this, you feel that you would like to help, or would like to know more please visit coastguardsos.com , Coastguard SOS on Facebook or Coastguard_SOS on Twitter

(Goatys News would like to thank this site for assistance with writing this story)

Update 19 Sept 2012:

Scotland: Minister steps in to prevent coastguard station closure

Intervention of the Scottish Transport Minister, Keith Brown MSP, in the proposed closure of the Fife Ness Coastguard Station has been welcomed.

North East Fife MSP Rod Campbell has given his backing to Mr Brown following his submission of evidence to the Commons Select Committee on Transport.

The minister has also called for a meeting with the new UK transport and shipping ministers./

Mr Campbell told the Citizen this week: ‘‘I am very pleased to see the Scottish Government doing all it can to prevent this proposed loss at Fife Ness.

‘‘I have been saying for a long time that this move is a mistake, and could lead to several more injuries, or worse, at sea in the coming years.

‘‘The coalition Government’s handling of this issue has been very poor from the beginning, culminating in the false hope offered by the Prime Minister in July when he claimed stations due for closure would remain open until 2015.

‘‘I share the hope that a change of British shipping minister could mean a change of mind.

EVIDENCE

‘‘The wrong decision has been made by the UK Government and I fully support the work of the Scottish Government in trying to keep the coastguard station open.”

Mr Brown submitted further evidence to the Select Committee following their previous investigation into coastguard modernisation.

The recent cabinet reshuffle in Downing Street saw Mike Penning MP removed as shipping minister to be replaced by Stephen Hammond MP.

At present, Fife Ness is scheduled to cease operations on September 28. fifetoday.co.uk

Update 21 Sept 2012:

A sad day for Forth Coastguard today, their Facebook page made the announcement,

At 1330 utc the final Maritime safety information broadcast will be sent by the staff at MRCC Forth. On completion of this broadcast all operational responsibility will be passed to MRCC Aberdeen and Forth Coastguard will cease to exist bringing to an end 109 years of Coastguards being at Fife ness. At 1335utc, the facebook page for MRCC Forth will be deleted in respect of those leaving the service and those passed officers who were stationed at Forth. Safe Seas, Calm waters and light winds to all

Follow up report on Coastguard, Emergency Towing Vessels and the Maritime Incident Response Group

11 December 2012

The Commons Transport Committee publishes follow up report on the Coastguard, Emergency Towing Vessels and the Maritime Incident Response Group.

Implementation of the Governments modernisation programme risks damaging the coastguard

Confusion about the role of the new national Maritime Operations Centre (MOC) and mixed messages about local knowledge and coastguard station closures has undermined staff morale across the service and caused an alarming vacancy rate amongst skilled staff, warns the Transport Committee in a review of the governments reform programme for the Coastguard which found that coastguards are disillusioned and confused.

Launching the review or reforms across the coastguard, Louise Ellman MP, Chair of Transport Committee said,

The manner in which changes are being imposed has already damaged the service and it is a great concern that the vacancy rate for skilled staff has doubled since 2010.

Regrettably, the previous shipping minister was ambiguous about the timing of coastguard closures and this has dented staff morale across the service.

There is a worrying lack of information about what coastguards at the MOC will actually do from day to day or how these new staff will work with local coastguards.

The MCAs stance in respect of the local knowledge which coastguards in co-ordination centres must have is also confusing and contradictory.  In a response that the Committee described as complacent and lacking in detail,  Sir Alan Massey, Chief Executive of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, suggested that local knowledge is not a requirement. The MCA needs to set out its strategy for staff training and articulate its vision of why coastguards in MRCCs need to gain and retain local knowledge. MCA management must schedule and remunerate staff to pursue this expertise, not leave them to organise themselves when they are off duty.

The Committee also expresses concern about arrangements for Emergency Towing Vessels and plans for fire fighting at sea now that the Maritime Incident Response group has been withdrawn.

The committee also calls for the Government to provide statistics on the age profile and length of service of coastguards at each MRCC and to set out its strategy for retaining experienced coastguards, particularly in terms of recruitment to positions based at the MOC.

Chair of the Committee, Louise Ellman added,

The programme of coastguard closures, the change in provision of emergency towing vessels and inadequate arrangements for fire fighting at sea are causing unrest and concern.  The government must rule out further closures and ensure that its reforms do not undermine safety and make proper use of local knowledge when applicable.

Background Information

The Transport Committee (TSC) published a report in June 2011 criticising the Government’s original proposals to modernise the Coastguard Service. This also condemned the Government’s decision to withdraw funding for emergency towing vessels, which helped protect the UKs coastline from pollution from merchant shipping, and for a nautical fire-fighting initiative (the Maritime Incident Response Group (MIRG).

Ministers accepted the central recommendations on reform of the Coastguard Service, withdrawing their original proposals, bringing forward new ones, and consulting on them. Changes to emergency towing vessels and MIRG went ahead largely as planned, although the Government was unable to find a commercial alternative to a state-backed emergency towing vessel in the seas north of Scotland.

Opposition to the Governments reforms has continued, focused in particular on defending coastguard stations which are scheduled to close. A year on the Committee has held a follow up inquiry looking at how the Government is implementing its revised reforms, taking oral evidence  from coastguard trade unions, from the new shipping minister, Stephen Hammond MP, and from the chief executive of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), Vice-Admiral Sir Alan Massey KCB CBE.

The Scottish Affairs Committee also took oral evidence recently on the future of the Coastguard Service in Scotland. Echoing many concerns already identified by TSC, their report concluded  the Government has clearly failed so far to carry public opinion on the proposed changes and must do more to explain the rationale for station closures.

TSC is also investigating procurement of a new, unified search and rescue helicopter service, which will entail the closure of helicopter bases at RAF Boulmer and Portland. It wrote earlier this month to the Secretary of State for Transport asking further questions about this procurement and to express disappointment at the Governments decision not to undertake a public consultation about the closures. The Committee may return to this issue when it receives the ministers reply.

Further Information

Image: PA

 19 Dec 2012:

MPs to debate future of Portlands rescue helicopter

ITN NEWS

Portland search and rescue helicopter is due to be scrapped in 2018 Credit: ITV Westcountry

Controversial plans to scrap the search and rescue helicopter on Portland will be debated in parliament today. Richard Drax, MP for South Dorset, won the adjournment debate. Its one of the few ways for an MP to put a local matter before the House of Commons.

Portland Search and Rescue Helicopter –

House of Commons Adjournment Debate in full

(Hansard)

Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House do now adjourn.—(Mr Goodwill.)

7.14 pm

Richard Drax (South Dorset) (Con):It is a huge honour to speak in this debate, and I should like to start—[Interruption.]
Mr Deputy Speaker (Mr Nigel Evans):Order. Would Members leaving please do so quietly, so that we can hear the Adjournment debate?
Richard Drax:Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker.This campaign is not just about one MP. Other hon. Members are here for the debate and they are equally concerned about the future of Portland’s search and rescue helicopter. We represent tens of thousands of people along the south coast who are worried, many of whom have campaigned tirelessly in the past months to help me. This is a team effort and I pay tribute to, and thank, all who have contributed to the battle to save our helicopter. It would be negligent of me not to pay special tribute to all crews of search and rescue helicopters in the United Kingdom, and in particular to ours in South Dorset.I will begin by telling a story about a fishing boat called the Purbeck Isle. Sadly, it sank recently and we lost three young fishermen. The search went on for three days non-stop and could only be carried out effectively by helicopter because the search area was so huge. The helicopters had to refuel a number of times. If it were not for the Portland base, they would have had to fly some 21 to 25 minutes to Lee-on-the-Solent before refuelling and coming back. That would have meant being away from the search area for at least an hour. The current water temperature in most of the United Kingdom means that people can survive for about 10 minutes before they become unconscious, and 30 minutes before their core is so cold they die—those are the maximum times.I remind the House that the initial funding for the helicopter came from the private finance initiative, which was cancelled by the coalition Government in February 2011.
Mr Tobias Ellwood (Bournemouth East) (Con):I congratulate my hon. Friend on the work he has done, and I join him in supporting all the crews who work so tirelessly to keep our seas safe. Does he agree that the mess the previous Government made of that PFI deal—the fact that decisions were not made then—is why we are confronted with this awful situation today?

Richard Drax:I agree with my hon. Friend to a certain extent, but when there was an earlier attempt to remove the helicopter, my predecessor was able to keep it because of PFI. In those days the Government were able to throw more taxpayers’ money at retaining it. Sadly, I am not in that position. The proposal has been put out to contract under the Official Journal of the European Union, which states certain key user requirements. As long as those requirements are met—at least theoretically, and that is the point—the Department for Transport assumed that no consultation was necessary. The previous Secretary of State for Transport, my right hon. Friend the Member for Putney (Justine Greening), wrote to me and said that no consultation was necessary because she was “improving the service”. That presumption was criticised by me and many others. It has now been criticised strongly by the Select Committee on Transport, which has called on the Government to rethink their proposal.The Portland helicopter operates in one of the busiest areas in the UK, and 25% of all coastguard call-outs come from there. It is illogical to close a base in the middle of all the action and rely on those further away. Cover should surely be provided close to where it is needed. Portland is only a 12-hour base, yet it compares favourably with its 24-hour neighbours—Solent, Culdrose and Chivenor. In 2011, the call-outs were: Portland 194; Solent 210; Culdrose 249; and Chivenor 272. Its helicopter is being called out as much as helicopters at the 24-hour stations.Furthermore, the costings were wrong. When I first got involved, the Secretary of State assumed that the Portland base cost about £9 million a year to run. It does not. It is a 12-hour base and costs between £4 million and £5 million. If the Government think they will save money by closing the base, let me tell them that the money spent on diving casualties and flood rescues this year alone would pay for multiple helicopters. Portland costs half the amount of other bases and does almost the same number of taskings. That important point bears repeating.The flying times were also wrong, and this relates to what the then Secretary of State was told by her advisers. The flying time from Culdrose to Portland is 48 to 54 minutes. If we add 15 minutes—the key user requirement to get the helicopter off the ground—we are looking at about 63 minutes. The flying time from Solent to Portland is between 21 and 25 minutes, plus the 15 minutes, which makes 36 minutes. The flying time from Chivenor to Portland is 37 minutes, plus the 15 minutes, which makes 52 minutes. That is on the basis that the air is still, conditions are perfect and no wind is blowing. As we all know, helicopters are not called out to rescue people unless something has happened—normally in stormy weather. In the sea, a person has 10 minutes before they are unconscious—that is the maximum in current sea temperatures—and 30 minutes before their core temperature drops and they are dead. Not one of the proposed helicopter bases would meet that time. All the people in the water—children, mothers, grannies, whoever—would be dead.The other helicopters—at the three other bases I have mentioned—are as busy as ours. The point I have made repeatedly to the Under-Secretary is that one helicopter can only be in one place at any one time—however new, however fast, it can only be in one place at any one time. So if the Lee-on-the-Solent helicopter, and we will have to rely on that, is called to the east of its basing area, we can add to the 21—or 36—minutes at least another half hour or even an hour because that is how long it will take to get back to its base, having completed it task, to refuel and to come to us. And the people in the water? They would be dead.On concurrent call-outs—when the other helicopters are in the air at the same time as ours—I have documentation proving that, in the past 14 months, the Portland helicopter responded to 21 incidents at the same time as the Solent helicopter. My helpful and moderate letter from the Minister, dated 17 December, includes a table on tasking concurrency. It lists the call-outs for Lee, Portland and Chivenor in 2009, 2010 and 2011. According to these figures, tasking concurrency happened three times in 2009, once in 2010 and once in 2011. Why, then, do we have other figures stating that on 21 occasions the helicopter at Lee-on-the-Solent was in the air and doing a task at the same time as the Portland helicopter? Something is seriously wrong, and I urge Ministers to look at the modelling, which I believe is fatally flawed. Someone somewhere has got their maths wrong.Over the past 10 months, 25 out of the 32 transfers to Dorset county hospitals were so life threatening that the Civil Aviation Authority regulations were waived so that the helicopter could land at the hospital. According to Department for Transport figures, every road death, which equates to a water death—it is the nearest we have got—costs £1.6 million. On the basis of those figures, we save about £40 million by having the helicopter at Portland. If the Government needed any lessons on saving money, that is a pretty stark example.

Sadly, all this is being compounded by the proposals to close the maritime rescue co-ordination centre. They, too, are criticised by the Select Committee. The local resilience forum is particularly concerned. The Government said there would be no cuts to front-line services. I wonder what these are: no emergency towing vessels in England or Wales; no offshore firefighting capability, because the marine instant response group was withdrawn; a proposal that more than 50% of the co-ordination centres should go; and two helicopters going—ours and another—reducing the number of bases from 12 to 10. If these are not front-line services, I would love to know what the definition of a front-line service is, because to me that is the very coal face that the search and rescue capability depends on.

It is not just search and rescue that our Portland helicopter is involved in. It also works with the police and the ambulance service—yes, we have a charitable air ambulance, as do many counties, but it is small and does not have a winch. Without a winch, it can land only at certain places, so on many occasions the Portland search and rescue helicopter is called to help. The air base played a major role at the Olympics—TV companies, VIPs, business; you name it, it was used. Then there are pan and mayday alerts, and let us not forget the Channel Islands, which are also in the Portland helicopter’s area of responsibility.

I would like to thank the Under-Secretary of State, my hon. Friend the Member for Wimbledon (Stephen Hammond)—he is not the Minister currently sitting on the Front Bench; it is hard to track the right Minister down when trying to fight one’s case—for his letter. To be fair, he has seen me and listened to me, and when he got his facts wrong about the timing from Culdrose to Portland—he initially thought it was 21 minutes, until I said, “By Concorde, yes,”—he wrote a helpful letter saying that the flying time is actually 48 minutes. These are fairly serious errors.

Those on the Front Bench are very intelligent, capable men and women, but I urge them please to come down to Dorset and listen to those involved in search and rescue along our coast. I am a former soldier, and I cannot think of any major decision where one would not appreciate what one was about to do beforehand. It is military training; it is civilian training; it is what we all do—we make an appreciation. To do that we must go on a reconnaissance mission; and to do that we need to go up front as a commanding officer and look over the land that we are about to move over or perhaps the hill that we are going to attack. We do not just sit there in our bunker, look out and say, “Onwards men! There’s the hill! Go and take it! I’m having some breakfast”—and off they go and they get slaughtered. That is what happened in the first world war.

It is that important. I cannot request enough—it must be at least three, four or five times now—that someone comes down to Dorset and listens to those intimately involved. I do not pour scorn on civil servants—they have a very important role to play—but sitting back in Whitehall pressing computer buttons, playing with their modelling and making pretty circles on maps is not really the way to come to a logical conclusion. If someone came down to Dorset and listened to people—this is another thing that really appals me—they would find that they are frightened to speak their minds.

Why is that? Because if they do, they will lose their jobs. Is that not unbelievable? In this democracy of ours, in which millions have died to allow me to stand here and speak, the people who should be giving the Government the proper advice that they need are too frightened to do so, because if they do, they will lose their jobs. That is utterly outrageous.

Let us for once, as a Government, stand up and start leading. I say this: “Come down and listen. Listen, and listen. Do not talk; you can do that when you get back to your office. Listen, and I am convinced that once you have done that, Ministers will change their minds, or at least will start thinking about the whole process again.”

In a letter to the Government, the Transport Select Committee said

“There are understandable concerns that the withdrawal of these bases will lead to…increased fatalities”.

The Under-Secretary took the view that that was entirely different from saying that lives would be lost. I have to disagree: temperate language was rightly used to a Government Department by a responsible and highly influential Select Committee.

Annette Brooke (Mid Dorset and North Poole) (LD):I congratulate my hon. Friend on securing the debate. The issue that he has raised is very important throughout Dorset. Although none of my constituency is on the coast, my constituents are just as concerned as my hon. Friend about the potential for fatalities. Let me reinforce his point that it is essential for someone to come down to Dorset and observe, for example, our lack of roads.

Richard Drax:My hon. Friend is absolutely right about the lack of roads. We live in a beautiful part of the land, and helicopters provide the only way of reaching people who need help quickly. Moreover, it should be borne in mind that half my constituency is at sea, and that “at sea” is a dangerous place. Millions of people use our coastline, our seas and our cliffs. They dive under the sea and they boat over the top of it, and all that generates tremendous activity.In Fareham, one of the new maritime operations centres is to replace our co-ordination centre in Weymouth. At present, people who live locally get out of bed and, as they have done for many years, look out of their windows, see the rain, look at the sea, and get a sense of what is going on. Because they know the area, when something happens they are able to target the right asset immediately. They will know, for instance, that the field by Durdle Door is so boggy that a four-wheel drive will not get there at this time of year, so they must get the helicopter out.What will happen if, during a busy bank holiday weekend, that huge MOC—with at least 40 staff—is bombarded by calls from people all along the south coast saying “We have a child here, a mother there, a lilo somewhere else”? I predict that there will be utter chaos. That is another part of my constituency that I am trying to save, and I urge the Government to think again about an issue that is very dear to my heart.I want to be generous, and to give the Minister as much time as possible in which to respond. Some Ministers—dare I say—stand up and read from a written script which, for eight of the nine minutes available, repeats what we all knew already. I should be very grateful to the Minister if he answered my specific questions. The first was this: will someone come down to Dorset and listen? If no one does, the consequences will be absolutely terrible. My invitation to a Minister to visit South Dorset was declined on the basis that it was“important that the procurement proceeds as planned.”I submit that, as it currently stands, it must not, because if it does, lives will be lost. I have been around long enough not to make such a statement loosely or lightly. I say it with the backing of those who are in the know, and who speak to me in the dark of night for fear of speaking out loud. They predict we will lose five, six, seven or eight more people a year. That many people each year will be dead if we do not have our helicopter. That is all because the Government are relying on modelling from miles behind the front line, rather than having the courtesy, if nothing else, to come down to Dorset and listen.Will the Minister tell me how many search and rescue stations he has visited? How many helicopter crews has he spoken to? How many co-ordination centres has he been to? Talking to the crews and visiting the centres is the best way to learn what this is all about.

Finally, I thank the air crews—especially ours in Dorset—for the incredible bravery they demonstrate in the job they do. My aim is not to be a belligerent Back Bencher. I am supported by tens of thousands of people, as well as many colleagues, who believe the Government have got this badly and seriously wrong.

7.36 pm

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Norman Baker):In the seven or so minutes my hon. Friend the Member for South Dorset (Richard Drax) has left me, I will try to respond to all his points and questions. I congratulate him on securing this debate and recognise his strong and genuine interest in this matter on behalf of his constituents and the wider public in Dorset and elsewhere.I am responding today in place of my ministerial colleague, the Under-Secretary of State for Transport, my hon. Friend the Member for Wimbledon (Stephen Hammond), who is in Brussels attending the Transport Council. Therefore, to answer one of the questions put to me, I have visited no search and rescue stations, as it is not part of my portfolio to do so. I do not know whether my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary has visited any, but I imagine that if he has not, he will want to do so, as he is very keen to discharge his responsibilities in a serious manner.My hon. Friend the Member for South Dorset recently met my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary, and he referred in his speech to the letter that followed that meeting, issued on 17 December. I am pleased that he received a copy before this debate, because it deals with many of the points he has raised. As he will know, therefore, last year approximately 23,000 responses to incidents were co-ordinated by the coastguard service, many of which were responded to by the service and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. Search and rescue helicopters responded to approximately 2,500 call-outs. I pay tribute to the brave men and women who often undertake challenging operations in treacherous conditions to save lives.As I do not have much time, I will not bother the House with a run through of the history of the service. I should point out, however, that the oldest of the Sea Kings used in search and rescue entered service in the early 1970s, so the fleet is clearly nearing the end of its useful life. As a result, the military are withdrawing the Sea Kings and their personnel from search and rescue in 2016, and, as the most recently awarded coastguard helicopter contracts expire in 2017, the Department for Transport is running a procurement to put a new, modern, state-of-the-art contracted service in place for the whole country, to be managed by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.Helicopter technology has developed over the past few years, and we will put in place a new service that benefits from those technological improvements. The new service will therefore utilise a full fleet of state-of-the-art aircraft. These aircraft will provide greater reliability and faster flying times to many more locations than the current military helicopters. The Department is determined to provide at least the same level of service as now, but in the current financial climate we must also consider the most cost-effective way to achieve that objective. That has led us to decide to alter the basing arrangements for the service. The increased capability of modern aircraft will enable us to move from 12 bases to 10 and provide at least the same capability as today while reducing costs.We chose to prescribe 10 bases with 98% availability. We could, according to procurement and other experts, have had a lower figure but we have settled on 10. That enabled us to ensure that the future service would be at least as good as the existing capability and not endanger life by risking an overall increase in response times. My hon. Friend the Member for South Dorset referred to the statement from the Select Committee and, to be fair, read out the response. In linguistic terms, “having a concern that the withdrawal of bases will lead to” is not the same—I agree with my hon. Friend the Under-Secy—as saying that that will be the inevitable consequence of any change. Clearly, the impact on the capability of the service and the ability to deal with incidents has been foremost in the Department’s mind in considering the future configuration of the service.
Dr Julian Lewis (New Forest East) (Con):Will the Minister give way very briefly?
Norman Baker:If my hon. Friend does not mind, I will not, as I have been left seven minutes to try to respond sensibly to a debate. I am very sorry and will happily take any interventions in a subsequent debate—if that is technically possible—when I or my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary will respond.This is obviously a matter of concern in South Dorset, but the Department is confident, as our independently verified analysis shows, that the arrangements we are putting in place will provide a comprehensive level of coverage that will not compromise our ability to reach persons in distress. Furthermore, the future service will bring substantial overall benefits to the country as a whole. It will require helicopters to be airborne within 15 minutes of being tasked during the day and to have a minimum availability of 98%. Within 60 minutes, the fleet will be able to reach all areas in the UK where there is a very high or high risk of incidents occurring, and modelling shows that average flying times to incidents would improve by approximately 20% under the future arrangements.Currently, approximately 70% of high and very high risk areas within the UK search and rescue region are reachable by helicopter within 30 minutes. Under the new contract approximately 85% of the same area—therefore more of it—would be reached within that time frame. I recognise that Portland is of particular significance for my hon. Friend and other colleagues on the Government Benches. I am advised that approximately 5,000 coastguard co-ordinated incidents are handled by the Brixham, Portland and Solent coastguards annually, but over the past three years, an average of 214 a year required assistance from the Portland helicopter—that is about four a week. Other bases operating Sea Kings have performed up to double the number of taskings in a year, so it is not unreasonable to expect that neighbouring bases with modern helicopters would be able to respond to future incidents that Portland might respond to today. Indeed, other bases already do so at night because, as my hon. Friend said in his opening remarks, Portland only operates during the day.It is of course true that a helicopter, however modern, can only be in one place at a time, but there are three other bases in the region, all within reach of the areas the Portland base often flies to when responding to incidents. Of these other bases, the closest are Chivenor and Lee-on-the-Solent, just 20 minutes from Portland.
Richard Drax:Will the Minister give way for just one second?
Norman Baker:I will, as it is my hon. Friend’s debate.
Richard Drax:Will he answer just one question, because—dare I say it—I have heard all this before? Will he guarantee that someone will come down to Dorset to listen?
Norman Baker:I was trying to respond to that point. His request has been clearly heard and I shall pass it on to my colleague the Under-Secretary and to the Secretary of State. It is their responsibility to deal with this issue and they will make a judgment, but he has made his point very firmly and I am sure that it has been heard by others in the House, too.Let me try to deal with one more point before I run out of time. Over the past three years, Chivenor and Lee-on-the-Solent have been tasked at the same time as Portland on only five occasions. He cited the figure of 21, but I am advised by officials that the concurrent tasking figures to which he referred were from the Aeronautical Rescue Co-ordination Centre, the RAF tasking authority, and relate to three bases—Portland, Chivenor and Lee-on-the-Solent—not just to one. That might account for the difference in figures to which he referred—7.44 pmHouse adjourned without Question put (Standing Order No. 9(7)).

Related:

Support flaring for Clyde Coastguard, Scotland – Published 03 Sept 2012 1440Z

01 Feb 2013:

Privatising search-and-rescue service and closing bases will cost lives

Critics of privatisation plan say fewer helicopters will be flown by civilian pilots, with sea and mountain rescue made less effective

The Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team

The Cairngorm mountain rescue team practising rescue techniques at Cnap Coire Na Spreidh. Willie Anderson, team leader, says of the helicopter privatisation: Someone will have one eye on the casualty and the other eye on the balance sheet. Photograph: Murdo MacLeod

A controversial move to privatise the UKs military search-and-rescue helicopter service should be halted, say experts, rescuers and the rescued, amid fears that a new civilian system may lead to fewer lives being saved.

Search-and-rescue professionals, doctors, mountain-rescue volunteers, workers in the maritime industry and people who have been saved fear a new civilian privatised service will not be as effective as the one now provided mainly by RAF and Royal Navy pilots and crew.

There are deep worries that plans to cut two of the 12 search-and-rescue (SAR) bases dotted around Britains coastline will leave some areas exposed, particularly the Channel.

Critics say the new service will include fewer and in some cases smaller helicopters that operate over shorter ranges. There are fears that pilots could be barred by the new contractor from flying in harsh weather conditions, particularly in mountainous areas.

But the biggest unknown is how effective civilian pilots will be in the rescue role, compared with their military counterparts who have been involved in SAR for 70 years.

Louise Ellman, chair of the Commons transport select committee, said: There is still concern about the possible risk to life by the change. I would like the process halted. I am disturbed there has been no proper consultation. There should be a pause to give the chance for people to put across their views. Its concerning that ministers dont appear to be listening or to engage with people who have expressed worries.

The government will announce this spring which company or companies will be charged with providing SAR capability helicopters and staff for 10 years from 2016. It argues that it is under intense pressure to modernise the service because the militarys ageing Sea King helicopters will retire in 2016, and it wants military personnel redeployed to frontline defence roles.

The future of the 275 military personnel who currently fly search and rescue, including Prince William, is unclear. Some will leave the armed services and join the civilian operation. Others will be moved to different areas within the military, but there is unease among some that jobs could be lost.

Ministers argue that faster, more efficient helicopters than the Sea Kings used by the RAF and Navy will provide an even better service. The Department for Transport, which is responsible for SAR, claims the new civilian crews will be as effective as military personnel.

Currently the SAR service is provided by the military at eight bases and by a civilian operation run on behalf of the Maritime & Coastguard Agency at a further four. Under the new system two of the bases RAF Boulmer in Northumberland and the coastguard base at Portland in Dorset will be cut.

At half of the remaining 10 bases the contractor will be required to provide helicopters with smaller capacities than the Sea Kings. They will be required to cover smaller ranges than the Sea Kings cover.

The privatisation has alarmed experienced civilian volunteers who rescue thousands of people a year from the UKs mountains, cliffs and cave systems. They fear that the new contractor could cut back on services to protect profits and helicopters, and fail to invest in live training exercises with volunteer rescue teams.

Bill Whitehouse, chairman of the British Cave Rescue Council, said: Theres concern whether the smaller aircraft will be able to do everything the Sea King can. Obviously theres nervousness when you see change coming. Were happy with what weve got.

Whitehouse said there were concerns that a commercial firm would have a different ethos to the RAF and the Navy. To what extent would a new commercial service pull out the stops when the chips are down? Will they point to a contract and say, thats not in it?

Willie Anderson, team leader of Cairngorm mountain rescue team, south of Inverness, one of the UKs busiest, said he believed the RAF and navy should simply be given new helicopters rather than see the service entirely privatised. Weve had a fantastic service from the military, he said. The difficulty I have about privatisation is that somewhere down the road someone will have one eye on the casualty and the other eye on the balance sheet.

Another Cairngorms veteran, Willie Ross, who has volunteered with the mountain rescue team for 25 years, said: To be basic and brutal about it, as soon as you introduce a profit into it, youre in a different ball game altogether.

There are intense anxieties about the closure of Portland on the Channel coast, which is currently run by civilians for the coastguard. The Department for Transport believes the area can be covered from Lee-on-the-Solent in Hampshire, Chivenor in north Devon and Culdrose in west Cornwall. But Richard Drax, the Tory MP for South Dorset, has branded the removal of the Portland service a sheer act of folly. He claimed sources within the current SAR service had predicted that up to eight more lives a year could be lost if the base were closed.

Drax has said the changes are being rushed through without enough consultation because a previous plan to set up a new SAR service involving both civilians and the military collapsed in 2011. The timetable is tight because the ageing Sea Kings are due to be retired in March 2016.

Tens of thousands of people have signed petitions calling for Portland to be saved. Alan McNamee, who is chairman of a campaign to save the base, said he believed he and his teenage daughter, Gaby, would not be alive if the Portland helicopter had not been there to pluck them off the roof of his car in floods last year.

The government argues that it would have to scrap the tendering process and start again from scratch if it had to carry out further consultation, and it would cost 300m to extend the life of the Sea Kings by two years to allow that to happen.

A DfT spokesman said: The future service will provide comprehensive search-and-rescue helicopter coverage for the UK. Utilising a fleet of modern, state-of-the-art helicopters, the service will operate from 10 bases, and modelling shows that the speed of the new fleet will improve average flight times to incidents by approximately 20%.

Commercial helicopter operators have provided SAR services under contract to the Maritime & Coastguard Agency for 30 years with great success.

What they do for us……

Series following the Sea King Search and Rescue Flight based at RAF Lossiemouth. For a whole year a television crew filmed the emergency events this RAF Rescue crew were called to including the North Sea and Scottish mountains during perilous conditions. This episode features the rescue of the crew from a sinking vessel called The Budding Rose.

Violence, arrests greet protest against Russian anti-gay bill

76 CRIMES

Gay rights activists in Moscow were pelted with eggs today by supporters of a proposed Russian law against discussions of homosexuality in the presence of minors.

Police made several arrests.

The proposal is scheduled for consideration next month in the lower house of the Russian parliament, the Duma.  Laws against “gay propaganda” are on the books in Saint Petersburg, Ryazan, Arkangelsk Kostroma, Magadansk, Samar, Bashkortostan, Krasnodar and Novosibirsk.

Nikolai Alekseev of Gay Russia told Gay Star News:

There was about 15 people there. They were picketing the entrance to the Duma with placards and they decided to make this kissing protest in front of the entrance. There were about four or five couples, male and female, kissing. Then this radical Orthodox activist attacked them physically and with eggs.

Activists reported that protests against the bill were also held today in Saint Petersburg, Tomsk, Samara and Arkhangelsk.

One activist said…

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Nigerian church welcomes, supports LGBTI people

76 CRIMES

An African church that welcomes LGBTI people? There is such a church, and it is the focus of Miles Tanhira’s interview with Jude Onumiabor, a leader of the House of Rainbow Nigeria, an inclusive Christian organization. Excerpts are below.

By Miles Tanhira

For a long time religion has been used as a weapon of attack for LGBTI people. It is no wonder there is a high degree of suspicion of religion amongst LGBTI people. …

However it is not all doom and gloom. … Initiatives such as the House of Rainbow are working hard to ensure that LGBTI people of Christian and Muslim faiths are empowered and strengthened spiritually to reconcile their spirituality and sexuality.

Romans 9:26 says “In the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘children of the living God.’ ”  Thus over the years many LGBTI…

View original post 746 more words