The general cargo ship Ruyter ran aground on the north shore of Rathlin Island on October 10, 2017 after its master left the bridge unattended, a report from UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) showed.The master of the Netherlands-registered ship had been consuming alcohol before taking over the watch, contrary to the company’s policy. The chief officer had previously been concerned over the master’s regular excessive consumption of alcohol, but at the watch handover had been satisfied that the master was fit to take the watch.After taking over the watch, the master adjusted the autopilot to steer 185° to avoid the north-west bound ship Shannon Fisher. Soon after, he again adjusted the autopilot to steer a south-easterly course.At 2105, Ruyter’s master set the autopilot to steer 145°. The ship then maintained this heading until about 2311, when it ran aground on the north shore of Rathlin Island.The chief officer, who had been woken up by the noise and vibration of the vessel grounding, was on his way to the bridge when he met the second officer, who had also been woken. They reached the bridge together to find it deserted. There were numerous alarms sounding, including the bilge alarm for the bow thruster space.MAIB’s investigation found that Ruyter grounded because no action had been taken to correct a deviation from the ship’s planned track. The master, who was the sole watchkeeper, had left the bridge, and the bridge navigational watch alarm system, which could have alerted the chief officer to the fact that the bridge was unmanned, had been switched off.Ruyter’s bow shell plating and frames were damaged by the grounding, which resulted in flooding of the bow thruster space and forward voids. Only hours after the incident, the vessel was refloated without assistance and, after inspection at Carlingford Lough, proceeded to Belfast for temporary repairs.The ship’s manager, VD Innovation BV, has since taken action, including the introduction of random alcohol testing and the empowerment of its crews to alert any concerns they may have to the company.Ruyter was on passage from Skagen, Denmark, to Warrenpoint, UK with a cargo of sawn timber.
The UCI was implicated in the Lance Armstrong doping scandal by the US Anti-Doping Agency and was criticised by the World Anti-Doping Agency when an independent panel it established to examine its own alleged complicity was disbanded before it could report. That has led to strong criticism of McQuaid, but his compatriot Kelly thinks the critics have been too harsh on the 63-year-old, who has been president since 2006. “It was a real difficult time for cycling. These were bad years for cycling and McQuaid has suffered because of that. But we must also remember the good things he has done. He has managed to improve the image of cycling in the last few years with the introduction of the biological passport. “That has been working very well. It has taken a lot of riders out of the sport and I think the sport is better for it at the moment. When we look at the way cycling is going at the moment he has done a good job in the latter years.” All eyes will be on Team Sky’s Chris Froome in France after defending champion Sir Bradley Wiggins had to pull out of the race due to injury and illness. Froome has spent much of his recent career in Wiggins’ shadow, but Kelly thinks the Kenya-born 28-year-old can make the step up and challenge for the Tour. “He has proven he can cope with the pressure,” Kelly added. “He has beaten some very good racers who he will be facing on the Tour de France, so there’s no reason why he can’t do it again.” Cycling Ireland’s clubs will decide whether the federation should nominate McQuaid to stand for re-election as Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) president at an extraordinary general meeting in Dublin on Saturday. “I definitely think Pat McQuaid does not get enough credit for what he has done,” said Kelly, a four-time green jersey winner at the Tour de France. Sean Kelly has hit out at Pat McQuaid’s critics as the Irish cycling chief prepares for a crucial vote that could determine whether he stays on as UCI president. Press Association
Janet Rowe did not fly to Jamaica just to vote. But when she realised her name was on the voters’ list, the US$197.50 fee she paid to change her ticket “was a small price to pay to support her party”, Rowe said. “The ticket was actually US$430 plus what I paid to change it.” But that cost couldn’t keep her from the polling station at the Content Gap Primary School in East Rural St. Andrew. “When my boss wished me a safe travel I didn’t tell her I wasn’t coming back just yet.” Instead, “I called one of my co-workers and asked her to work for me tomorrow and I will work back for her on Saturday,” she said with a satisfied grin, showing her ink-stained index finger. Her ticket was changed from February 23 to 26. The constituency is being contested by the Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) Juliet Holness (wife of opposition leader Andrew Holness) and the People’s National Party’s (PNP) Imani Duncan Price. Holness went into the elections with a five percentage point lead over her rival.