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    Re: Container ship grounding in English Channel
    From: Lu Abel
    Date: 2009 Nov 07, 07:56 -0800

    How about running this URL through TinyURL (www.tinyurl.com)?    It's a
    way of making absurdly long URLs like this one into short,
    eight-character ones.
    I tried this URL and I couldn't bring it up.  It was not truncated by my
    email reader.
    George Huxtable wrote:
    > This was an event that occurred in early 2008, about about which there seems
    > to have been little publicity at the time.
    > It concerns an immense German-registered container ship, Cortesia, of 90,000
    > tons, which grounded on the Varne bank, at the most dangerous spot in the
    > English Channel. Trying to understand why the ship had come to a stop. the
    > Chief Officer, on watch, woke the Captain to report engine failure!
    > Anyone interested will find a full account in the report of the enquiry,
    > which is careful not to apportion blame, at this website-
    > (you may have to cobble-and-paste the fragments of that absurdly-long
    > address together.)
    > I am reasonably familiar with that area, which at night is lit up like
    > Piccadilly Circus. The ship had come to a stop less than half-a mile from
    > (and on the wrong side of) an immense cardinal pillar buoy, halfway between
    > two such buoys, marking the sides of the bank; buoys which carry radar
    > reflectors and with bright quick-flashing lights.
    > It wasn't foggy, though there had been light rain, visibilty several miles.
    > The estimate was that somewhat in excess of 15 navigational alarms must have
    > been activated. These had been taken to be engine alarms, neglected, and
    > presumably switched off.
    > The long, thin, Varne Bank lies slap in the middle of the SW-bound
    > separation zone, at its narrowest and busiest point, aligned with the
    > channel. It's only 3 metres below chart datum, and SW-going traffic has to
    > decide whether to pass NW or SE of it, rather than ploughing through the
    > middle.
    > Cortesia went on at an hour before high water, and was lucky to come off
    > again, without serious damage, at the next HW, hauled by four big tugs.
    > For anyone interested in that sort of thing, the report makes salutary
    > reading, but it does contain its share of officialese gobbledegook.
    > George.
    > contact George Huxtable, at  george@hux.me.uk
    > or at +44 1865 820222 (from UK, 01865 820222)
    > or at 1 Sandy Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5HX, UK.
    > >
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