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Weekly Penguin News update

Friday, February 23rd 2007 - 20:00 UTC
Full article
 The <i>Jih Da Gan</i> in Stanley Harbour this week. The <i>Jih Da Gan</i> in Stanley Harbour this week.

Headlines: Seamen jump ship: two lost; East ferry terminal to be at Newhaven - West still undecided; Yachtsman stops for repairs; Rotterdam on her way

Seamen jump ship: two lostA GROUP of fishermen who jumped ship in Stanley Harbour on Monday have told police of alleged ill treatment on board. Two men are feared dead after they and eight of their ship mates jumped overboard from the jigger, Jih Da Gan, while it was in Stanley Harbour to collect an illex squid licence. Despite being unable to swim, they were trying to reach the north shore of the harbour. The vessel is owned by the Wa Da Fishery Co Ltd and flagged in Taiwan. Two of the men who jumped overboard were Chinese, the rest Indonesian. Falkland Islands Company (FIC) launches were in the area very quickly after the men jumped at around 5pm on Monday, and eight of the crew were found and taken to the East Jetty where they were transferred to KEMH. A further search was begun with assistance from the Fire and Rescue Service, Falkland Islands Defence Force and members of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal. Many other individuals also assisted. They, together with the launch crews from FIC and Sulivan Shipping Ltd, carried out a detailed and concentrated search of the water, beaches and the shore, including the Camber. Searches by air were carried out by the Falkland Islands Government Air Service and the RAF, including an infrared search. Nothing further was found and the search was called off just after 8pm. The eight survivors spent the night in KEMH and were provided with clothes and toiletries by the Seamen's Mission. Chief Medical Officer, Dr Roger Diggle said all the men were suffering from hypothermia, "...which responded well to re-warming." While they were relieved to discover that they were not going to be sent back to the ship, he said, they were concerned to discover what had happened to the two missing men. Some of the men had injuries that they alleged were due to brutality aboard the ship and these allegations are being investigated by the police. Inspector Len McGill said the interview process was "slow" due to "language barriers" but confirmed the men had alleged ill treatment on board. He reported yesterday that the interviews were nearing completion and police would not be boarding the vessel until this was finished. Meanwhile efforts continue to locate the two missing crew men who are believed to have perished. Inspector McGill said local vessels are carrying out sonar searches: "They are searching a pattern from the vessel in areas we think the bodies might have moved with the tide." A number of targets had been identified, he said, but the bodies have not yet been found. Coastline searches of the harbour and Hadassa Bay are also being carried out daily at low tide. Repatriation The men who were safely collected will be repatriated if that is their preferred option, Councillor Andrea Clausen told Penguin News, and "every effort" will be made to ensure that the fishing company pays for the repatriation. As for the reasons why the men jumped ship, Cllr Clausen did not wish to speculate, however she did comment, "...it appears at this stage that they jumped due to intolerable conditions on the vessel." More on page 2East ferry terminal to be at Newhaven - West still undecided ROAD building resources next summer should be focused on the construction of a ferry terminal at Newhaven. That was a recommendation made by the Transport Advisory Committee (TAC) at its meeting on Tuesday. Where the permanent terminal will be located on West Falkland - Port Howard or south of Second Creek - is still to be decided. The new ferry, provided by Workboat Services Ltd (WSL), is expected to begin operation as early as July this year and, in the meantime, temporary terminals will have to be opened until the permanent terminals are completed. Roads Engineer Bob Hancox told the meeting that WSL was keen to have the temporary terminal for East Falkland at Port San Carlos, as a breakwater would have to be built at Newhaven were the temporary terminal sited there. However, due to the condition of the road to Port San Carlos, this would limit the types of loads which could be carried to meet the ferry (when the roads are saturated). Were Port San Carlos to be approved for the temporary terminal, the TAC decided WSL should be encouraged to use the jetty which is already there and possibly crane goods aboard, negating the need to construct a ramp. However, this would also limit the type of vehicles which could use the ferry. As for the temporary ramp on West Falkland, the TAC heard that this was relatively straightforward to construct at Port Howard. However, with regard to the permanent terminal, no final decision has yet been made on where it will be built as further costing has to be carried out. Representatives of the TAC are to meet with WSL in the near future to discuss the terminals. Yachtsman stops for repairsTHIRTY-SIX days into the second stage of the gruelling Velux 5 Oceans (formerly known as Around Alone) yacht race, New Zealander Graham Dalton (53) has made a pit stop in the Falklands for repairs to his yacht, A Southern Man AGD. On Wednesday Graham was towed into Stanley harbour by a Falkland Islands Company launch where Ian Bury and Mike McKay carried out repairs to the rudder, mast and steering. At the time of printing, he was hoping to get back into the race this morning (Friday) - he is currently in fourth place (of five remaining yachts). As the repairs were completed yesterday Graham said he had been "heartened" by the willingness of people to help and the way they had immediately rallied around. He said he hoped to set sail at 5am today (Friday) and get back into the race. The Velux 5 Oceans is the longest race for any individual in any sport, however the five skippers still in the second leg of the race that started in October know it is a marathon and not a sprint. During the 30,000 mile race the yachts will encounter some of the most extreme sea and weather conditions on the planet. Sports Week kicks offSPORTS Week, the time traditionally set aside to celebrate the end of shearing in the Falklands, begins on Sunday. Sports meetings will be held at North Arm on East Falkland and Port Howard on West Falkland. An assortment of activities are on offer, ranging from horse racing (on East Falkland only), bull riding, foot races, treasure hunts and dances. Rótterdam on her wayTHE cruise ship Rotterdamis due to visit Stanley tomorrow (Saturday), bringing 1,316 passengers. Explorer II(200) will spend Saturday at Steeple Jason and Carcass Island then head to Stanley on Sunday. On Thursday, NG Endeavourwill visit Stanley, with around 124 passengers on board.

Categories: Politics, Falkland Islands.

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