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Sunday 12 April 2015

100 years since the ANZAC's landed at Gallipoli.

ANZAC Day, 25 April, this year marks the centenary of the landing in WWI at the Gallipoli Peninsula by Australian and New Zealand forces where they and other allied troop's mission was to capture this territory from Turkey. This attack saw over 44000 allied troops lose their lives of which 8709 were Australians and 2701 were New Zealanders. The Turks lost 86000 men in this campaign.

This year in Gallipoli there will be a special tie up between surf lifesaving and the Australian military. An association which has always been strong with mateship being a shared cornerstone value between both organisations.

Back in WWI any surf lifesaving club members joining the armed forces were immediately given at least the rank of corporal or sergeant, and in some cases lieutenant, due to the training they had undergone. The discipline and values they had ingrained in them through being surf lifesavers put them in excellent stead as soldiers.

Today the famous red and yellow flags that designate the safest place to swim on the beach hark back to the flags used by Australian troops onshore to communicate with ships.

For most of my life I and one of my friends and work colleagues, +Melissa Andrews have proudly been members of Tweed Heads and Coolangatta Surf Lifesaving Club . Our children are "Nippers"(junior lifesavers) there.

TH&C SLSC was founded in 1911. Three years before the start of the war. It the first club in Queensland and was one of only a handful of surf clubs clubs even formed nationally at that time. A significant contingent of our members joined the war effort in WWI and other wars for that matter.

To commemorate and recreate the ANZAC landing, TH&C's long time surf boat captain, Brian Sullivan, "BA" to everyone who knows him at the club, is sweeping a boat in the G100 surf boat race in Turkey with his son and other members of TH&C who are currently serving members of the Australian Military. The surf boats bare a resemblance to the dorys used by the ANZACs so they are fitting for this occasion in more ways than one.

BA and the boys will be racing other surf boats from Australia, New Zealand and Turkey along the Dardanelles to ANZAC Cove over 4 days starting on the 21st of April. It's not all racing though with the crews stopping to pay their respects at historically significant places along the peninsula. 

Depth Logistics and Depth Travel are very proud to be one of the sponsors of the TH&C crew for this special occasion.

Depth Travel has put together a Gallipoli cruise and tour to coincide with the commemorations. The profits earned have gone toward the sponsorship of the crew. It's still not too late to book but time is running out fast so you need to be quick. More details....

For me ANZAC Day has always been the most significant day in our national calendar having had my grandfathers serve in WWII and an uncle serve in Vietnam. 

This year will be even a bit more special knowing BA and the boys will be right there at ANZAC Cove representing TH&C SLSC. 

Hope you and the boys are first on the beach BA!!!

Lest We Forget

+Brad Skelton 

Friday 3 April 2015

New expensive ship wreck removal convention comes into force this month.

A potentially massive cost impost on ship owners and their insurers is now in force with the Nairobi Convention. There will be an impact down the line on shippers rates and risks.

In operation this convention places strict liability on ship owners to remove the wrecks of their vessels if they are deemed to be hazardous.

Once upon a time the salvage technology and equipment simply didn't exist to remove some ship wrecks so they had to be left to mother nature to be broken up. Alternatively, in some situations, human intervention would cut them down only enough to allow the safe passage of the deepest draft vessels using that route. This has changed and in the last twenty years it seems removing any wreck is possible if enough money is thrown at it and therein lies potentially huge liability for the shipping industry. 

Although a cruise ship, take the "Costa Concordia" salvage for example. This cost approximately US$1.2bn and was a remarkable high tech operation. Here is a link to the time lapse of her being re-floated. 

So what does the Nairobi Convention potentially mean to shippers?

As I have mentioned in my blog in the past international maritime law places shared liability on all parties who have cargo on a vessel that gets into distress regardless of who is at fault. In simple terms essentially the law is that all parties are deemed to be joint venture-rs in the voyage and precedents tend to side with the ship owners who can successfully argue their vessel would not have been in that place, and therefore in distress, had it not been on it's way to deliver the shippers cargo it was carrying. This means that shippers share in the costs that flow from any incident. That's why my team and I constantly remind Depth Logistics clients to always always ALWAYS be insured!

The Nairobi Convention will inevitably lead to higher insurance premiums, charter rates and freight costs for shippers. 

Nonetheless the environment will be all the better for it with less wrecks dotting the worlds coastlines. 

All for now,
+Brad Skelton