41e année-jaargang

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41e année-jaargang
DRIEMAANDELIJK-TRIMESTRIEL
41 e année-jaargang
2010/07-08-09
164
Robert Oostens Accountable Publisher Ave. Mutsaard, 75/51 1020 Brussels
RADIO OFFICERS CLUB
(R.O.C.) a.s.b.l. - v.z.w. anno 1954
*Association de spécialistes en électronique maritime*
*Vereniging van specialisten in de maritieme electronika*
56ste Algemene vergadering van 4 december 2009 - 56e Assemblée générale du 4 décembre 2009
Président d'honneur/Erevoorzitter
Ere Ondervoorzitter / Vice-Président d'honneur
Membres d'honneur/Ereleden
: Raymond Rasquin (7e)
: Roger Ketelers (7e)
: Alfons Van Lierde, Mw. Van Ransbeek.
Beheerraad / Conseil d'administration 2010 :
Président/Voorzitter
: Christian Parren (23e)
Vice-Président/ Ondervoorzitters
: Robert Oostens (22e)
Secrétaire/Secretaris
: Louisa Parren
Trésorier/Schatbewaarder
& Secrétaire-adjoint
Beheerders/Administrateurs
: Jean-Pierre De Meersman (22e)
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
Michel Boedts (29e)
Michel Bougard (25e)
Jos Croissiaux (13e) Vice-Pdt d'honneur
Ignace De Cauwer (41e)
Jean Devroye (39e)
Richard Firley (29e)
Michel Fournal (28e)
Marnik Rommelaere (41e)
Hubert Stevens (23e)
Didier Visart (42e)
Karel Waerzeggers (27e)
Compte / rekening POSTCHEQUE R.O.C. :
000 - 1373004 - 66
E-mail : [email protected]
ROC WEB SITE = www. rocnews.net
QRX Club House : « COURLIS », Werkuizenkaai 15 te Laken - Quai des Usines 15 à Laeken
EDITION ROC NEWS : ROC. staff
FLEMISH TRANSLATION : Mr. N. LAPAGE
ADMINISTRATION PRODUCTION and MAILING : Louisa & Christian PARREN
Belgium:Tel 0473/46 95 45
France : Tel. 00 33 (0)467 18 28 83
e-mail : [email protected]
Schatbewaarder & adjjsekretaris : J.P De Meersman : Schuttersvest, 61/29 - 2800 Mechelen
Trésorier & secrétaire adj.
: TF 015/ 410919
: e-mail : [email protected]
SIÈGE SOCIAL / SOCIAAL ZETEL : Radio Officers Club (R.O.C.) asbl,vzw
c/o Robert Oostens
Avenue Mutsaardlaan, 75 / 51
1020 Bruxelles
*Activités passées
-La réunion (QRX) du ROC du 4 juin dernier sur la péniche a été comme d'habitude très
agréable et très relax pour tous les nombreux membres présents. On peut voir quelques
photos de la soirée sur le site du ROC (Courlis) (www.rocnews.net).
-Comme les années précédantes les visiteurs étaient nombreux lors des Journées Portes
ouvertes de la Marine à Zeebrugge. Des navires belges et étrangers étaient amarrés sur les
quais de la base. Notamment la frégate belge F931 Louisa Marie qui partira prochainement
en mission pour lutter contre la piraterie sur les côtes Est-Africaines.
*Activités en cours ou à venir....
= CQ CQ CQ de ROC ROC = ATTENTION A VOS AGENDAS =
Voici les dates des prochaines réunions QRX dès 20H00 à bord du Courlis, les vendredis 3
septembre et 3 décembre avec l'Assemblée générale.
-Samedi 4 septembre à Anvers à 17h30 "Jour des marins" avec dépôt de fleurs au
monument des Marins disparus en mer durant les deux guerres mondiales.
-Dimanche 19 septembre à 10h30 à l'occasion de la journée des Marins une messe solennelle
sera célébrée en l'église St.Paul à Anvers.
-Le 45ème banquet du ROC et le 20ème Triton auront lieu à Evere (Bruxelles) le samedi
27 novembre à midi à l'hôtel Mercure, 74 rue Jules Bordet à 1140 Evere/Bruxelles.
Invitation et menu du banquet dans le prochain rocnews.
Pour les distraits la cotisation au Radio Officers Club (R.O.C.)
pour l'année 2010 est restée à 13 €
Compte n°
IBAN
000 - 1373004 - 66
= BE07 0001 37300466
BIC = BPOT BEB1
*News...
La Holland America line (filiale du groupe américain Carnival) a annoncé qu'elle baserait
deux de ses navires 1' Eurodam et le Ryndam à Douvres pour la saison 2011. La compagnie
proposera 9 croisières vers la Baltique et les fjords norvégiens ainsi qu'une grande traversée
de 3 semaines vers la Méditerrannée.
*ROC website... www.rocnews.net
Un grand merci à :
-Léon TUBBAX (26P) pour la photo du dîner de la 26ème promotion en 1968.
-Raymond DEWOLF (27P) pour les belles photos de sa carrière maritime.
-Francis BROSE(14P) pour l'histoire de son incroyable pari. A lire sur le site sous 14P...
-Freddy GOFFIN (26P) pour son voyage à bord de l'Albertville.
-Roger KETELERS (7P) pour le livret sur la Belgian line de 1895 à 1955 ainsi que pour la
photo du beau grafiti représentant Roger pendant son expédition au Pôle Sud.
*Changement d'adresse...
Nous avons reçu un message de Michel PINPIN (25P) nous signalant sa nouvelle adresse:
Michel e Josiane Pinpin-Larielle
Sitio da Josiane
Estrada das Meleiras KM 10 , s/n
Meleira -Ilha de Guriri
Conceiçào da Barra / ES, CEP 29960 - 000
Mais comme, il n'y a aucune distribution postale en zone rurale où nous sommes maintenant
le courrier qui pourrait nous être adressé au Brésil doit impérativement l'être à l'adresse
suivante : Michel e Josiane Pinpin-Larielle
Caixa postal 310
ACF Cricaré
Sào Mateus / ES
CEP 29930-972
Brésil
TEL (3761 - 3351) est aussi devenu obsolète. Comme il n'y a pas de ligne "fixe" nous
avons installé une antenne pour recevoir nos communications en 'cellular residential' (GSM
fixe). Notre nouveau n° de tel est devenu le (xx-55)27 - 9968-9599 . Attention pour la
tarification il est bien considéré comme 'cellular'(GSM).
E-mail sont inchangés : [email protected]
et [email protected]
*Nouvelles sociales...
C'est avec tristesse que nous avons appris le 23 Juillet le décès de Freddy FONTEYNE
Capitaine a.l.c. Il a terminé sa carrière comme chef pilote et chef du radar control au port de
Zeebrugge. C'était un ancien naviguant de la Frubel line.
Merci à Lucien Bouillon (8P), Roger Ketelers (7P), Félix Jacquet (14P), Louisa ,
Jean-Pierre Estas (14P), Mr.N.Lapage, Albert Godts (12P), Raymond Rasquin (7P),
Jean-Pierre De Meersman (22P), Bob Oostens (22P) et Michel Bougard (25P) pour leur
collaboration à ce rocnews.
*Voorbije aktiviteiten...
-De bijeenkomst (QRX) van de ROC op 4 juni 1.1. op de woonboot was zoals gewoonte
zeer aangenaam en zeer ontspannen voor alle talrijke aanwezige leden. Men kan
enkelen foto's van deze avond zien op de site van de ROC (Courlis) (www.rocnews.net).
-Zoals de vorige jaren waren de bezoekers talrijk aanwezig op de opendeurdagen van
de marinebasis in Zeebrugge. Belgische en vreemde schepen waren aangemeerd aan
de kaden van de basis. Vooral het belgische fregatschip F931 Louise Marie die
kortelings op missie gaat vertrekken om te strijden tegen de piraterij langs de oostAfrikaanse kusten.
*Lopende- of komende aktiviteiten...
= CQ CQ CQ DE ROC ROC = OPGELET VOOR UW AGENDA =
Zie hier de datums van de volgende bijeenkomsten (QRX) in het club house aan boord
de Courlis. De vrijdagen 3 september en 3 december 2010 met de algemene vergadering
vanaf 20 u.
-Op zaterdag 4 september om 17u30 "Dag van de Zeelieden" te Antwerpen met het
neerleggen van een bloemstuk aan het gedenkteken van de Zeelieden verdwenen op
zee gedurende de twee wereldoorlogen.
-Op zondag 19 september om 10u30 zal ter gelegenheid van de dag van de Zeelieden
een plechtige mis gecelebreerd worden in de Sint Pauluskerk in Antwerpen.
-Het 45 s t e banket van de ROC en het 20 s t e van de Triton zullen plaats vinden in Evere
(Brussel) op zaterdagmiddag 27 november in het hotel Mercure, Jules
Bordetstraat 54 te 1140 Evere..
De uitnodiging en het menu van het banket zullen in de volgende rocnews zijn.
Beter laat dan nooit en dit geldt ook voor diegenen die het vergeten
zijn. Het bijdrage voor 2010 is op 13 EUR gebleven.
ROC rekening : 0 0 0 - 1 3 7 3 0 0 4 - 66
IBAN : BE07 0001 37300466
BIC: BP0TBEB1
*News...
De Holland America line (dochtermaatschappij van de Amerikaanse groep Carnival)
laat weten dat ze twee van haar schepen, de Eurodam en de Ryndam zal aanleggen in
Douvres voor het seizoen 2011. De maatschappij biedt 9 cruises aannaar de Oostzee en
Noorse fjorden en eveneens een grote overtocht van 3 weken naar de Middellandse zee.
*ROC Website.... www.rocnews.net
Beste dank aan :
-Léon TUBBAX (26P) voor de foto van het banket van de 26 ste promotie in 1968.
-Raymond DEWOLF (27P) voor zijn mooie foto's van zijn maritieme loopbaan.
-Francis BROSE (14P) voor de geschiedenis van zijn ongelooflijk weddenschap te lezen.
-Freddy GOFFIN (26P) voor zijn reis aan boord van de Albertville.
-Roger Retelers (7P) voor de boekje herinneringen van de " Belgian line" in de loop van
de jaren 1895 - 1955, en voor de mooie muurschildering (grafiti) die Roger aan de
Antarctis vertengenwoordigt.
*Adresverandering ....
We hebben een bericht ontvangen van Michel PINPIN (25P) met zijn nieuw adres :
Michel e Josiane Pinpin- Larielle
Sitio da Josiane
Estrada las Meleiras KM 10, s/n
Meieira - Ilho-da Guriri
Conceicào da Barra / ES, CEP 29960-000
Aangezien er geen enkele postbedeling is in deze landelijke zone waar we ons nu
bevinden, moet de post die ons nu wordt opgestuurd naar Brasilië, geadresseerd worden
naar :
Michel e Josiane Pinpin - Larielle
Caixa postal 310
ACF Cricaré
Sao Mateus / ES
CEP 29330 - 972
Brésil
TEL = (3761 - 3351) is ook onbruikbaar geworden. Daar er geen "vaste" lijn is, hebben
we een antenna geinstalleerd om onze communicaties in "celular residential" (vaste
GSM) te ontvangen. Ons nieuw telefoonnummer is (XX-55) 27-9968-9599 geworden.
Opgelet voor het tarief, die wordt wel als "celular" (GSM) beschouwd.
De E-mails zijn onveranderd : [email protected] en [email protected]
•Sociaal nieuws....
Met diep droefheid hebben we op 23 juli het overlijden vernomen van Freddy
FONTEYNE Kapitein t.l.o. Hij heeft zijn loopbaan als Chief loods van de haven van
Zeebrugge geëindigd.
Dank aan : L.Bouillon (8P), JP Estas(14P), Mhr N. Lapage, F. Jaquet (14P),
W.Baeckelandt(19P), R.Rasquin(7P), A.Godts (12P), Louisa, Mhr E.Gassée,
R.Oostens(22P) en JP De Meersman (22P)
De Radioverbindingen van de Koning Boudewijn basis op Antarctica
in de periode van de Belgische expedities tussen 1958 en 1967
1. Het Radiostation van de Basis
Het radiostation was een officieel dienststation van wat toen nog de RTT was en als dusdanig
gelijkwaardig aan andere RTT- stations zoals bijvoorbeeld Oostenderadio, maar veel
kleinschaliger.Zijn opdracht bestond er in de eerste plaats in het kontakt te verzekeren met het
moederland voor dagelijkse uitwisseling van allerlei wetenschappelijke, technische en andere
informatie. Gelijk wie had de mogelijkheid in de twee richtingen persoonlijke telegrammen te
versturen mits betaling. Hiervan werd echter praktisch geen gebruik gemaakt vermits alle
expeditieleden en families meestal genoeg hadden aan het maandelijkse gratis telegram in beide
richtingen met een beperkte lengte in woordental. Er was ook de mogelijkheid voor een persoonlijk
gratis telefoongesprek per maand.
Deze gelegenheid was echter zeer afhankelijk van de onregelmatige voortplanting van de
radiogolven in het gebied zodat vooral gedurende de lange winter slechts sporadisch aan
telefonieverbinding kon worden voldaan.
Het station beschikte over een zender voor telegrafie en telefonie van om en bij de l,5Kw, waarbij
de nodige ontvanger. De eigen te gebruiken frequenties waren toegekend in de frequentiebanden
die ook van gebruik waren in de toenmalige maritieme radiocommunicatie hetzij 3, 6, 8, 12, 15 en
20 Mc/s.
Het station maakte gebruik van een naar België gerichte paralelvormige Rhombic antenne,
steunend op vier masten van een paar tiental meter hoogte en opgericht door de expeditie van 1958.
Gedurende de onderbreking tussen 1961 en 1964 hielden, zonder enig onderhoud, de masten
relatief stand maar werden tijdens de expeditie van 1964 ongebruikt gelaten en maakte men
gebruik van een nieuwgeplaatste Reuss-antenne in de vorm van twee, zich aan de basis tegen
elkaar geplaatste conussen rond een centrale mast. Bij het begin van de expeditie van 1965 werd de
oorspronkelijke Rhombie antenne hersteld : De masten waren kromgetrokken omdat de spanners
van de spankabels niet meer waren bijgeregeld - door de verhogingvan het sneeuwniveau waren ze
zelfs onder de oppervlakte verdwenen - en de kopweerstand bevond zich ook ongeveer drie meter
onder het niveau. Buiten de verbindingen met België werd nog dagelijks verbinding gemaakt in
telegrafie met het Australische station Mawsonbase op antarctica dat de dagelijkse
meteowaarnemingen van de verschillende zuidpoolstations verzamelde voor verder gebruik onder
meer voor weersvoorspellingen in de zuidelijke oceaan, ten behoeve van scheepen luchtvaart.
Met de andere stations op Antarctica was er geen regelmatig kontakt tenzij uitzonderlijk als
bijvoorbeeld een russisch vliegtuig een verbinding tot stand bracht tussen de stations Mirny en
Lazareff en het op de medewerking rekende van de Koning Boudewijnbasis die op zijn weg lag.
Het is zelfs gebeurd dat bij een dergelijke vlucht in 1959 een tussenlanding werd gemaakt op de
Koning Boudewijnbasis.Ook in 1958 tijdens de hulp door een russisch vliegtuig aan Belgische
expeditieleden in moeilijkheden was de verbinding met het station Mimy van groot belang.De
bedienaars van det radiostation waren van allerlei opleiding: radiotelegrafisten bij de Belgische
luchtmacht, de belgische koopvaardij, de RTT, de nederlandse marine of doorwinterde
radioamateurs.
Tijdens de zomercampagnes waren ook radiotelegrafisten van de belgische zeemacht aktief. Met
België ging de verbinding via het RTT-radiostation van Jurbise.
2. De radioverbindingen tijdens de raids in de bergen en op de iceshelf.
De sneeuwtractoren van het Canadese type Snocat waren uitgerust met een handig en compact
legertoestel, de ANGRC 9, die de verbinding toeliet via de Whip antenne, als het ging om korte
afstanden of onderlinge communicatie tussen de snocats.
Bij grotere afstanden werd regelmatig halt gemaakt om volgens een afgesproken tijdschema
informatie uit te wisselen. De toestellen waren aangesloten op de start- batterijen van de Snocat
Ook bij de raids met de hondensleden werd gebruik gemaakt van de ANGRC9. De
voedingsspanning werd dan geleverd via een " Handcrankgenerator " die door één van de mannen
werd aangedreven terwijl de andere de verbinding tot stand bracht. Het toestel beschikte ook over
de gebruikelijke frequentiebanden hierboven beschreven maar maakte meestal gebruik van
frequenties in de 3 en 8 Mhz/s- banden.
De modulatie was alleen voorzien in AM. In het begin van het gebruik op Antarctica sneuvelden er
enkele van die toestellen bij het gebruik in telefonie. Het was namelijk zo dat zijn uitvoering
beschikte over direct verwarmde radiobuizen die telkens, bij de druk op een microknop opnieuw
werden ingeschakeld. Zodoende kwam bij een telefonieverbinding bij elke druk op de microknop
de volle hoogspanning terecht op de anodes van nog ijskoude buizen. Dit euvel werd na enkele
spijtige ervaringen uitgeschakeld en op alle in gebruikte toestellen werd een ononderbroken
buisverwarming voorzien. Een paar andere toestellen zijn uitgeschakeld geworden tijdens de
expeditie van 1958 door het feit dat de eerste snocats werkten met de positieve batterij elektrode aan
de massa. Het volstond om de -metalen- micro even op de metalen bodem van de snocat te leggen
om een vernietigende kortsluiting in de radiozender te verwekken.
3. De radioamateurs
Het derde communicatienetwerk was dat van de Radioamateurs die in elke expeditie aanwezig
waren. Meestal waren het de vaste radiotelegrafisten die er ook nog, tijdens de vrije uren,
onofficiële verbindingen op na hielden met collega-radioamateurs van de hele wereld en zodoende
ook met andere antarctische stations. Ook sommige expeditieleden met een andere
wetenschappelijke opdracht waren regelmatig bezig op het Radioamateursnet.
In 1960 werd, op ongeveer 300 meter van het hoofdgebouw, een noodgebouw bij de basis
opgericht, met de bedoeling een vluchtweg te verwezentlijken bij een mogelijke vernietigende
brand in de basis.Dit gebouw werd later voorzien van een radioamateurzender van één der
expeditieleden om desgevallend als noodzender te kunnen functioneren.
Roger Ketelers 7e Promotie- Lid van de zuidpoolexpedities 1959 en 1965
THE LAST TRIP OF A TRAMP
A fiction - feuilleton by L. Bouillon ( 8th Prom.)
CHAPTER V
The " British Star " remained one week in Cape Town: the unshipment of 2000 tons ofguano took more time
than foreseen and the timbers which had to be loaded on board didn't reach the harbour in due time because
of a derailment of the steam-train during the crossing of the inland.
A minority was of the opinion that such event resulted from some resentment in the mind of persons who couldn't
admit that the Boer War had been ended in 1902 by the signature of " Peace of Vereeniging ".
Captain Jones decided to regulate the crew's leaves in compliance with the same requirements as those he had
imposed in San Francisco. Although he could not invoke any longer the so to say U.S. laws punishing the
deserters nor the sinister Alcatraz jail,nobody attempted to enjoy some illicit liberty,keeping in mind the cruel
punishment inexorably inflicted by the master to the topman John Adams.
Since all the ordinary crew members strictly complied with his instructions, the skipper turned a blind eye on
the drunkenness scenes he personally witnessed or heard about.
Margaret asked herself whether such attitude of her husband was due to the successful overtaking operation
with respect to the French sailing ship during a rough weather or just to some fortuitous circumstances.
Up till then, she had never got any answer on her own question for the simple reason that she didn't dare asking
him. She thought: " How can I guess the motives of that' macho ' who got the sea running in his veins?
...after all, can he guess what I feel? ", and cogitated a lot thereabout
She was at present anxious for seeing her mother again in Perth,where she was born;the old lady was eighty-five
and after her husband's death at sea during the World War I, she always refused to come and live in England
in spite of Margaret's proposals.
The opportunity appeared all the more wonderful that it was scarce: the " British Star " had to put in Fremantle
where the timbers would be unshipped; unloading and another probable loading signified to her at least one full
week leave... Perth was in the vicinity... to beat home with the old mamma...one week...a dream!
Margaret's reverie got underbroken by the captain who entered the cabin, not forsaking an unusual smile.
She thought that it was perhaps the appropriate moment to learn more about his state of mind.
- WelkKen...everything as you like? - she said, carelessly looking back at her new knitting work.
Avoiding to fail into the trap, Jones simulated astonishment and replied: -Me?... what d'you mean? Do I look
so good-humoured? She thought: " There's no help with that guy " and ventured some remark: -Oh!...because you were smiling, dear,- Nothing particular...just smiling...better than being cross , no? - he retorted.
" He doesn't want to tel 1 me anything...the pity of it, but this time I'1l fire him point blank! " she thought,then
said as though she was speaking about some quite different subject: -By the way...I know quasi-nothing about sailing manoeuvres.. .but the way you overtook the French ship...a master-piece!...it was worth a bottle of Champagne! - Like the crow being lured by a fox in the famous La Fontaine's fable,Jones opened his mouth as though
he had just swallowed one of his own teeth.lt took him a few instants to recover his self-control,then he retorted,
feigning amazement: - Oh!...did you witness that?...I'm happy you did...I must confess that I was feeling like
Nelson surprising de Villeneuve in the course of some naval battle." This time,F 11 trap you, my rabbit ", she thought,smiling:-I guess it was the nicest day of your life, wasn't it? -Oh! Yes...indeed...I...I mean ...after the day of our marriage,of course!...replied the captain.conscious of proably the best blunder of his civil life.
- I'm quite sure - shortly uttered Margaret in such a tone as to cause doubt in the meaning of her words.
Jones gave the subject over and said in a quite natural tone: - By the way,we're going to ship a full cargo of timbers ..there will be no room left in the holds for anything else...so we'll be obliged to load the wine tuns on
deck! -. - Wine? - queried Margaret.
- Yes...wine...and not anything, believe me...the famous red "Rustenberg " ! ...with such a cargo,even if we
capsize, we'll keep floating... - commented the captain.
- How are you going to fasten that?...suppose we get some gale like the one we experienced off the Chilian coast? she inquired.
- Do you mind swimming in red wine? - mockingly retorted Jones.
- No, but I would prefer drinking it...- said Margaret, bursting into a laugh.
Her question remained without reply but she didn't insist.
The weather was nice at that time of the year in South Africa: generous sun, blue sky,dark-blue sea.
The mood on board was not different from the climatic conditions: the officers and the ordinary crew got several
opportunities to go ashore, divert themselves and bring souvenirs back which were intended to please relatives
or fiancees.
Each time a huge timber got loaded inside the ship,the whole vessel shivered as though she was colliding against
a wharf successive to some uncareful manoeuvre.
On the eve of the departure from Cape Town,during the dinner,captain Jones addressed to all the officers with the
purpose of formulating recommendations about the crossing of the Indian Ocean: - Gentlemen,to-morrow after the
lunch, we'll sail full south...Mr.Osborne,you hear?...full south...avoiding the proximity of the coast until we
reach...let's say., .the thirty-sixth parallel...the reason is to avoid a zone extending to south-east of Cape Agulhas
where the sea can be enormous...resulting from the meeting of warm highly salted waters from the Indian Ocean
with the colder ones from the Atlantic...self-evident...and, if at the same time,we are caught by some gust of wind
from the west...you understand?...! don't need to make a drawing...do I?...By the way,Sparks...listen to-night to
Cape Town in case they would announce some gale for to-morrow...So,Mr.Burton, in any case,we'11 run under
reduced canvas...all sails furled above the lower top sails...we'll get strong wind from the west,that's sure...once
out of the dangerous zone,we'll see...as from the longitude of Port Elisabeth,we'll change the course to join the
latitude of Fremantle, with the hope that we avoid the roaring forties. Everyone except Margaret attentively listened to the master's discourse,apparently satisfying one's self with a
nearly cold meal. Having noticed that the officers just started to eat,he said: - Excuse me...but it had to be said...
...enjoy your dinner, gentlemen. Looking at her dish,Margaret slightly smiled.
The next day in the afternoon,when the " Brirish Star " left the harbour of Cape Town, the weather conditions
remained as favourable as the ones which prevailed on the eve of the departure.
A fresh breeze blew from the west, spreading a multitude of white crests on that part of the South Atlantic Ocean.
As prescribed by the master, the ship had set sail toward the south under reduced canvas.
Experience only could justify such unusual precaution:all the officers kept in mind the captain's audacity when he
ordered to set full canvas and studding-sails under wind's force 7 with a view to overhaul a French sailing ship.
Besides the master,Billy Burton was the only officer on board who was acquainted with the Indian Ocean; therefore, he knew that it was a quite useless effort to establish all sails for reducing them nine or ten hours later.
Two hours after midnight, under a bright full moon, the ship had already reached the thirty-sixth parallel.
Under command of the first mate who expressly came on deck during Osborne's watch, all the crew was
already standing by at the different working positions on the yards or near the winches.
The " British Star " which sailed up till now on the starboard tack,was about to veer by ninety degrees to full
east and then run before the wind.
Awakened by Morse signals transmitted by Cape Town Radio, Barnes jumped out of his bunk and noted the
contents of a security message forecasting a strong north-westerly gale five hundred miles west of Cape Agulhas.
After putting some clothes on, he brought the message to Jack Osborne who stood near the helmsmen.
Burton had just given the appropriate orders for adapting the sails' orientation to the westerly wind;together with
Osborne,he read the message and commented: - The sooner we'll be out of this zone.the better...I wonder whether
we shouldn't put more canvas on to increase our speed...five hundred miles in the west...I suppose the depression
center moves at ten knots...that means within fifty hours here ...at an average speed of twelve knots,we'II be six
hundred miles away...I'll speak to the " old man "... Burton went to the chart-room where he blew into the air-pipe connecting with the captain's cabin.
-Excuse me,sir - he said, - a strong gale from the west is forecasted...running eastwards..,do you agree upon
that we put more canvas on? Surprisingly,after some reflexion,the master replied: - All right,do for the best...better out of the Low's track...Astonished, Burton added " Good night,sir " and ordered the crew to establish three more square sails.
The speed increased to eleven knots.Unsatisfied,the first mate commanded to have the lower fore-top gallant added
to the present canvas; after a few minutes,the desired headway was indicated by the log-register: 12 knots.
Although his watch time was getting closer, he decided to regain his cabin and enjoy some more rest.
One hour later, he entered the chart-room again and had a look at different instruments: the hygrometer was
low, the wind-vane's repeater indicated an increasing wind's force of 8 Beaufort but, at his surprise, the barograph's needle remained steady on 1030 mbars. He got out and rejoined Osborne near the helmsmen.
- I'm afraid I shall have the canvas reduced again...- he said, - the old fox was aware thereof... he set me a trap
and I walked in it like some ship-boy...- What do you mean? - inquired the second mate.
- Well...he was quite aware of the fact that the stormy depression as reported by Sparks would deviate northwards along the West African coast as usual...now, we are about to run into the roaring forties...damned! commented Burton who ordered the boatswain to have all canvas furled above the lower topsails.
Astonished, the boatswain gazed at the first mate and opened the mouth to say something but Burton asked
sharply: - Well, what are'ye waiting for?...that the sails got furled by one's selves?The chief of the topmen rushed to the main mast where he gave the proper commands to have the ship rigged
as she was when leaving Cape Town.
The second mate couldn't help teasing Burton: - I noticed the tremendous experience of the " old man "...better
not attempting to beat him...in any case,as far as I'm concerned, I would never try!-
Inquisitive, be went to the chart-room with the purpose of having a look at the barograph: the needle obstinately
traced a horizontal line on the 1030-mb.graduation. " Nice weather...but we're going to dance " he thought, then
regained his cabin to enjoy some sleep.
The noise made by the wind through the rigging steadily increased and,at times,the sea was getting impressive.
In the meantime, running at twelve knots, the " British Star " was about to cross the Port Elizabeth's meridian:
complying with the master's recommendations,Burton modified the course by some degrees to the port side.
Although close to the sunrise, some stars were still bright in the sky;he took two crossed sights and determined
a reliable position: 35°10' S - 25°40' E. The distance to be run up to Fremantle resulted to be 4505 miles, i.e.
about a forthnight on the condition that a constant westerly wind would maintain the ship's headway.
When the master and his wife entered the officers' mess for having the lunch,some peculiar atmosphere prevailed among the guests: Parkinson and Barnes had been informed by Osborne about the so-called " trick "
played by the " Old man " to Burton.
After the customary " Gentlemen,sit down ", smiling, the captain applied to the first mate: - WelkMr. Burton,
I just saw that you did revert to the former canvas'area ...what did happen for deciding such a change?Although unaware of that pure seamanship's case,Margaret got pervaded by a deep-rooted feeling: " My God...
...something is going to happen " she thought while anxiously looking at her husband.
Uneasy, Burton tried in a first time to formulate some coherent answer to the master's query:-Well...as a
matter of fact...I...I'm not sure...Jones steadily kept smiling, increasing in this way Burton's embarrassment.
The latter desperately endeavoured to keep his self-control: - I'm sorry,sir...I recognize that I made a misjudgment...! had to rely upon your experience...I realized too late that the deep westerly depressions in
the South Atlantic usually deviate to the north before reaching the African coasts. While speaking, Burton looked at his dish;at the end of his discourse,he dared sustaining the captain's look.
On Margaret's greatest relief,the captain concluded: - All right, Mr.Burton...the incident is closed...this should
incite you, in the future, to pay more attention to the comments of that God-damned old fox of Jones! While Margaret,Parkinson and Barnes were gazing at the contents of their dishes,Billy Burton said in a contrite
tone to the master: - You are right, sir...I'm sorry...I'11 take care thereof in the future. -Enjoy your meal,all of yours!-friendly told the master.Every officer did understand that even simple recommendations from the skipper should be considered as genuine orders.
The next day,although the ship had crossed the thirty-fifth southern parallel and the thirty-fifth eastern meridian, she remained under the domination of the roaring forties: the billows which overhauled the " British Star "
didn't break but their white crests,ceaselessly pulverized by violent gusts,swept the ship's deck and covered the
sails with a salty layer. Such conditions prevailed during the whole night and the next morning; at the time of
the lunch, the wind's force unexpectedly and progressively dropped to 6 and then 5 Beaufort
It took several hours before the yet dark-blue sea consented to show more clemency: the troughs between the
waves appeared to reach ten to sixteen-feet depth, easing thereby the progression of the ship.These events
offered to the captain the occasion of addressing his officers during the lunch about the " freaks" of the Indian
Ocean: - Such a change of wind's-and sea's state shouldn't surprise you, gentlemen...I understand that it is the
first time,except for Mr.Burton,that you're crossing these ill-famed regions...the present weather conditions may
last one week...and then,without previous warning,some violent storm or even a hurricane may develop in the
north or in the south...in this case,the wind is so strong that the ship might run under bare poles...but let's hope
we won't experience such circumstances before reaching Fremantle...In the meantime,unless our Sparks forecasts
us some abrupt change of the weather conditions,I believe that we may now add one square sail to each mast. Immediately after the lunch, Burton gave the necessary orders to comply with the master's opinion.
As though Eole,the winds' divinity, had decided to please Kenneth Jones by granting him some long period of
nice weather,a constant 5-Beaufort breeze persisted in pushing the " British Star "on a moderate dark-blue
sea and under a veilless sky toward her next destination: Fremantle.
After months of tiresome manoeuvres due to frequent changes of atmospheric conditions, the whole crew and
in particular the ordinary sailors, considered the present calmness as some Heaven's gift, as a blessing.
Everybody might fully enjoy one's off-duty time and rest without the fear of being ejected out of one's bunk
or of having to rush toward the winches or to the ratlines.
These peaceful and careless hours incited to reverie and perhaps to melancholy; the usual hard work and often
agitated, restless nights offered little opportunity to romantic or sentimental dreamery.
Margaret was already planning some long leave in Perth,in company of her old mother;she would cocker her up:
do some shopping, have tea together in tea-gardens,walk with her in the city-parks like she did when she was a
mere little girl." My dear mamma,! got so many things to tell you...of course,after all the years I didn't see you...
...how are you looking now?...are you in good health?" she thought with emotion.
She started to sound her own memory, trying to recall her native house,her childhood,the little school to which
her mother used to accompany her each morning, holding her by the hand...the tears of both mother and
child each time her father left for another long journey on the seas...the long and heart-breaking farewell's
when she departed herself to London where she was going to learn becoming a hospital's nurse.
" Poor little mother...most of the time alone! ", she was thinking when the captain entered the cabin; he noticed
her emotion and said: - What's the matter,Maggy? -1 was thinking...I'm longing for my mother...I miss her. - replied Margaret with melancholy.
- You got chance...I wish I could also see mine again...I remember...I was twenty...she was ironing my uniform...
she laid the iron on the table and sat down in an arm-chair...she closed her eyes...I didn't realize... I believed
it was to have some rest...I went out a few minutes...when I came back, she appeared to be unconscious...
Iran for a doctor... too late!... she was dead! - indignantly commented the captain who got out of the cabin.
Nextdoor to the skipper's lodging, in the radio-station,while listening to some scarce wireless traffic,Barnes was also
thinking of his young wife: he sorrowfully realized that he wouldn't be back home in time for the birth of his child.
" In any case " he thought, " nobody on board is aware of the duration of the " Brirish Star's " journey...even the
captain...which would be the next destination after Fremantle?...through the Pacific?...months,perhaps years? "
He began to fear that he would experience the same case as John Adams,the deserter,who was already father of
a boy: when he would get home,the child would be two or three years old; how would he explain to his son that
he was the father? Sparks wondered if his own wife would let him embark again;he realized that the difficulties
wouldn' t last to occur and that a seaman's life was not compatible with family's requirements.
He thought about Osborne and Burton who were beyond thirty-five and forty-five, respectively, but remained
bachelors: for those people, no problem.
As far as Parkinson was concerned,Timothy Barnes knew that the third mate was twenty-five years old but he
was not aware of the intentions of his colleague.
Barnes' cogitations got underbroken by a security message from Fremantle Radio: it concerned a strong gale
warning. He took a pencil and noted on a weather report form: " 976-mb. deep depression's Low centered on
Amsterdam-and St Paul islands moving ENE toward the western Australian coast - wind speed +/- 45 knots
around 992-m. isobar - next weather report at 12h00 GMT "
Barnes brought the message to the officer on watch;Burton had a look at it and said: - We are now about three
hundred miles WSW of Cape Naturaliste... I see... please bring that to the "old man "...he shall decide. The radio-operator understood that after the public lesson Jones had given a few days earlier to the first mate,
the latter wouldn't take any risk whatsoever with respect to the ship's guidance.
He went to the captain's cabin and knocked at the door.Surprised to see the master playing cards with his wife,
he handed the weather report over to Jones who had a quick look at it and said: - Thank you,Sparks...tell
Mr.Burton that I'll come ...and you,advise me as soon as you get information on any change in the progress of
the depression.-Barnes saluted Margaret and went back to the look-out position where he reported to Burton.
The master rejoined them a few instants later and applied to the first mate: - Keep the present canvas until the
wind veeres to north-west and begins to increase...the pressure will probably drop quickly...then keep the
three lowest sails, spanker and jibs only...let's hope we'll put in Fremantle just in time...all sailors shall
have their life-jackets ready for use, if necessary. At 12h00' GMT,Barnes listened to Fremantle Radio: the depression followed the track as announced by the precedent forecast.When he got out to report to Burton, he saw Parkinson just arriving for having his watching turn.
The three men were subdued by the magnificence of the sunset; far away in the west, the red was dominating:
just above the horizon, the sun appeared like some iron piece just removed from the fire by the smith, the sky
was red and its colour was reflected by a train of clouds. They couldn't believe their own eyes.
-I have never seen anything as beautiful as this sunset...-Barnes told his colleagues.
- A pity that this confirms your forecast.Sparks. - commented Burton who repeated the master's instructions to
the attention of Parkinson.
The next day in the morning,at the end of his watch,Osborne stated that the master's experience had no challenger on board. He was about to regain his cabin when Burton got out of the chart-room and ordered the boatswain to have the sails furled except the lowest ones,the spanker and the jibs.
The barograph had started a descending curve and the wind-vane's repeater indicated 7 Beaufort.
The morning sky offered a strange appearance: hidden behind high dark-blue waves, the rising sun scattered
clouds with uneasily definable tints. Even a painter would have been unable to make anything of it:
some mixture of purple, grey and brown fading to orange-tawny on a roseate background.
An experienced seaman like captain Jones, however,didn't hesitate to qualify the natural scene; up at a very
early hour, he rejoined Burton on the poop and said:-There we are,Mr. Burton...this nice picture announces
something we have not yet seen since our departure from Portsmouth...in case of problem, forget the life-boats...
have the boats'n preparing all life-rafts and buoys.
The wind was slowly veering to north-west and its force was increasing.
- I'm afraid you'll have to keep two square sails on and three jibs only...escape to the south would be useless...the
storm will overhaul us...I saw the last position just plotted by Osborne...less than fifty miles from Cape Naturaliste.-
Almost under bare poles, the " British Star " rushed on the port tack at fourteen knots toward Fremantle.
During Parkinson's watch,at eleven o'clock a.m. local time, the master entered the chart-room once again and
noted the barograph's indication: 994 mbars.
Coming out, he called a sailor on duty and sent him for the boatswain to the crew's lodgings in the forecastle.
The sailor's chief had put his life-jacket on as ordered by the first mate: - Yes^ir? - he enquired.
- Boats'n...if the weather gets worse and in case we would be obliged to leave the ship,you take care of my wife...
that's an order! - said the skipper.
- Don't worry about that^ir...all life-rafts and buoys are ready for casting overboanMir.- answered the boatswain.
The captain applied to the third mate: -We are about to cross the 992-mb. isobar...up till now, force 8 only...
but it will get worse within short...Osborne who had just finished his lunch,arrived for the relieve; he had also put a life-jacket on.
So far,the wind had generated various frightening sounds in the rigging; now, it started to roar.
The waves were getting huge and washed the decks after beating the portside of the hull; each time,they caused
a dangerous list to starboard: from forty to forty-five degrees.
Jones decided to remain on deck; in any case, having a lunch in such conditions pertained more to some acrobatic performance than just filling one's stomach with bread and meats. He went once again to the chart-room.
Barograph: 990 mbars; wind-vane's repeater: 9 Beaufort!
He was meditating on any possible means to escape the storm." There's no way...God's clemency only..." he
thoughtOsborne had a look to port:a mountain-like wave was rushing toward the " British Star "; he got really
afraid but before he could do anything,the billow submerged the ship with such a violence that both helmsmen
and himself got thrown on the deck's planks, knocked-out
In the chart-house, the captain got projected against the starboard wall which hurted his left shoulder.
He tried to get out: near the steering-position, he saw three men lying on the deck's floor and the wheel, unretained, was foolishly rotating like a fly-wheel.
He thought" Maggy ? " but immediately remembered die order he had just given to the boatswain.
Without control any longer, the ship was a mere toy in the destructive hands of the nature: she veered to southeast before the wind. At this very moment,both remaining square sails cracked;the " British Star " plunged into
a trough and emerged rid of her bowsprit: without the jibs, there remained no impelling force any longer.
The port moorings retaining the South-African wine tuns broke and liberated the wooden casks which burst
against the starboard bulwark or flew overboard: red wine and sea-water overflowed the forecastle's deck.
Timothy Barnes didn't wait for any order before keying the distress signals: ignoring the ship's exact position at
that moment, he improvised " in the vicinity of Cape Naturaliste ". He hesitated during a few instants between
two alternatives: maintain a radio-contact or leave the ship and try to save his own life.
It was a Cornelian choice: the duty or a chance to see his family again.
Burton and Parkinson, feeling that the ship had lost any controL,reached the main deck almost together but with
much difficulty:they discovered with dread their colleague Osborne and both helmsmen lying unconscious near the
steering-position.They coupled their efforts and tried to rotate the wheel but it was impossible; the rudder seemed
blocked.Another billow caught them and washed them overboard: they quickly disappeared in a boisterous sea.
The boatswain succeeded in reaching the captain's cabin where Margaret who had put warm clothes and lifejacket on, was anxiously waiting for her husband. Knocking at the door, he shouted: -Madam, please... get out
of here and come with me...it's an order from captain Jones...please...quick!Hesitating, the captain's wife opened the door and asked: - Where's my husband? -I don't know, Madam...grasp my waist-belt firmly...we must leave the ship...most of the sailors are already
on the life-rafts...the ship might capsize at any time...follow me. - hastily said the boatswain who tried to
reach the starboard bulwark without being washed by the surging waves.
Retained by a cord, a life-raft was hanging overboard. At the proper moment, the boatswain took a knife
out of its pocket-case and cut the rope: the raft fell down in the water.
- Jump,Madam...now, jump!...I'll take care of you,..- ordered the sailor while Margaret reluctantly leaped over
the bulwark-The boatswain foUowed her and endeavoured to seize the raft which was already wandering away.
Swimming, the woman tried to overhaul him; he succeeded in catching the life-raft and helped her to climb
in it Soaked, shivering with cold, her long hair dripping before her eyes^he begged: - Where's my husband?...
and Sparks?...my God! Captain Jones who had succeeded in getting out of the chart-room whose door had remained jammed during
a few minutes, stated the disaster and reached for the radio-station where Barnes was still calling assistance.
He opened the door and commanded: - Sparks.,-get out of this God-damned station...you've done your duty!- Yes, sir...I'm in contact with Australian Navy's units which are heading to us...I put my life-jacket...calmly observed the radio-operator.
Jones heard the timbers moving in the ship's hatches and bumping against the hull each time the ship rolled
from one side to the other.
Looking left and right, he noticed on starboard a man trying to keep his head out of the water; he immediately
understood that the sailor had not put his life-jacket on.The master lifted the cover of a coffer containing
life-buoys; he fetched one of them, ran toward the starboard bulwark and threw the buoy in the direction of the
swimmer.The buoy fell too short Jones recognized one of his men: it was Harding^ sixteen years old ship-boy,
the youngest crew member. Unable to reach the buoy, the child was desperately looking at the captain.
Seeing the frightened and supplicating eyes of the boy^Jones jumped overboard and swam toward the buoy:
he caught it and ,after a few attempts, succeeded in putting it over the head of the young sailor.
From their life-raft, Margaret and the boatswain had seen the scene;Margaret shouted: - Ken,Ken...we're here! It was the last time she saw her husband living.
Another sea-surge gave the " British Star " a fatal blow out: due to the buoying effect of the timbers^he didn't
capsized but couldn't right again and remained on her starboard sidcThe captain got entangled in the ratlines
and many other ropes and sheets which rendered vain the desperate efforts he made to disengage himself.
Gasping from air, he could do nothing but giving up. During a few instantsjialf-consciousjie revived some memorable events of his own life: the first slap he got from his father;his young mother who comforted him,kissing his
forehead and wiping his tears;Margaret resplendent in her bride's white gown; his mother's death while she was
ironing his uniform...
For Timothy Barnes,the " Destiny " choosed the same kind of end as for his colleague of the" Estrella Chilena ":
when the ship laid on her right side, he got trapped in the radio-station and couldn't get out of it any longer.
Like the " Cid ",a Cornelian hero, Sparks had decided in favour of the honour and duty,extending in this way a
long naval tradition: he sacrified his own life to save other lives.
As well the boatswain, Margaret, the ship-boy as some other sailors got rescued by a unit of the Australian Navy.
The storm pushed the " British Star's " wreck toward Cape Naturaliste where she crashed against Sugarloaf Rock:
her main mast was broken and she was lying on her starboard flank like some race-horse which missed the last
hedge and cannot get upright any longer.
Jack Osborne and both helmsmen still hung, suspended at their safety-belts and hooks,like Middle-Ages'tortured
people. BurtonJParkinson and other seamen disappeared and were never recovered.
A few days later,however,some swollen corpses with disfigured faces were found on a small beach in the vicinity of
Sugarloaf Rock. Margaret and the boatswain who had been lodged by inhabitants of a neighbouring village, were
requested to come and identify the shipwrecked seamen.
Horrified,the captain's wife recognized her husband: the orbits of his lacerated face had been emptied by sea-birds;
she minted in the arms of an accompanying police officer.
The boatswain identified, among others of his men, John Adams; a small wallet was attached to his safety-belt:
the sailor's chief opened it and discovered a package containing baby's clothes which Margaret had bought in
San Francisco for the sanctioned deserter.
Margaret Jones-Hales spent the rest of her life in her native house in Perth, in company of her old mother.
-END6 gentle Sea, like a mother,
6 cruel Sea, how many bows
With the little children Thou play:
Do rest in Thy abyssal depths ?
Thy wavelets wet them with spray,
Many mothers and widows Thou left
On the beach rolling over and over.
Lonely and full of sorrow!
6 honest Sea when Thou render
Those Thou hast one day stolen;
Their ships lie on the beach, broken,
With the sails flapping for ever!
L.Bouillon ( 8th Prom.)
The above story and personages,except some historically recognized events,
pertain to pure fiction.
April 2009
UN
S O U V E N I R
(Encore!)
Que la Marine est belle... vue du rivage!
Elle connaît cependant, la Marine, pas mal d'ombre, de cruauté, de mesquinerie, de silence, de couardise...
Elle possède aussi, la Marine, de l'héroïsme, du courage, de belles amitiés, des grosses blagues, quelques
escales inoubliables et du bonheur. Heureusement!
Dans les années 70, je fais une dizaine d'allers-retours entre Anvers et la Floride à bord d'un "toul-à-l'arrière".
Sur le pont: 4 grues pour 7 écoutilles. Lors des départs de nuit un autocar partait de la Place Astrid vers 23h et
via un stop devant le Rattenkot déposait l'équipage au quai d'embarquement. Ce voyage-là, à l'arrêt du
Rattenkot, 3 ou 4 marins en pleine forme nous rejoignent. Je devais apprendre plus tard que le plus joyeux, le
boute-en-train du groupe, un jeune matelot, s'appelait Marcel.
Les jours passent. La météo est super.
5 jours avant Port Everglades: faible brise de norois, petite houle, mer ridée, ciel bleu, visibilité optimale. Vers
17h je rejoins l'officier de quart, un ancien de "L'Avenir". Il aimait parler des grands voiliers "sans hélice et sans
chef-mécanicien". 11 haïssait cordialement les sous-mariniers allemands de 14—18; ceux qui ont exécuté sans
aucune gloire et pour toujours la grande marine à voile.
Soudain de l'agitation au pont principal. Le bosco, essoufflé, arrive à la passerelle. "Un homme est introuvable.
Avez-vous vu Marcel ?".
Le cdt reprend le quart. Le 1 er, le bosco et ses hommes mènent les recherches. Au mess, dans le château, sur le
pont, dans la salle des machines: Marcel? Pas vu, pas entendu. Un homme, un seul, dit l'avoir vu près du mess
à 15h. Il y a du passage à cette heure-là. C'est la sacrée pause-café. Un break de 20 minutes. Pas d'autre
témoin!
L'XXX "un homme à la mer" avec notre position de 15h est transmis en CQ sur 500.
Le cdt donne tribord, un large demi-cercle, pour ensuite rejoindre cette position estimée; il ne remonte pas
dans la trace qui se déplace avec le courant de surface et où en principe devrait se trouver un homme tombé
par-dessus bord. (Non?). Avec la mer calme et sous le ciel lumineux le sillage peut être visible sur des milles.
Nous nous retrouvons dès lors à quelques centaines de mètres de notre houache. Un nageur ne se distingue
plus à cette distance.
(I1 existe une technique pour revenir sur le point où un navire quitte sa route pour la reprendre dans le sens
inverse. J'ai vu une telle manoeuvre sur un minéralier.) (NDLR : Manoeuvre de BOUTAKOV)
A la passerelle: 2 hommes (vigie/timonier), l'off. de quart et le cdt. A l'avant? Personne au gaillard! Par rapport
à la passerelle encore une distance de 100m perdue quant à la perception visuelle et auditive. A la hauteur de
la timonerie les bruits de la machine principale, des moteurs auxiliaires, des ventilateurs et des extracteurs
couvrent certainement les appels d'un nageur épuisé et terrorisé.
Un cargo allemand a capté notre XXX. Il se pointe clairement sur note tribord et propose (VHP) de collaborer
aux recherches. Notre cdt refuse. L'autre reprend sa route.
Un peu plus tard nous voilà aussi en route, "red in the night". (Je n'ose pas ajouter "sailor's delight".) Full
ahead Florida.
Le lendemain matin une rumeur circule. Hier pas un mot, mais aujourd'hui il s'agirait d'un suicide! C'est LA
solution. Le suicide arrange parfois bien les choses.
Ensuite le cdt se renseigne, rapport à Marcel: avez-vous remarqué quelque chose dans son attitude, ses gestes,
ses paroles; donnez vos impressions.
Hier soir nos impressions auraient été spontanées; aujourd'hui c'est la porte ouverte à toutes les
divagations. Je me souviens du 3e off. furibard à cause de la méthode. Il ty a des gens qui simplifient tout
même une disparition. Est-ce banal?
Des hommes sont tristes et se posent des questions. D'autres s'en fichent...
Pendant des jours la mer fait la belle indifférente; elle joue dans ses abysses, si on peut dire, avec ses monstres,
ses épaves, ses îles englouties et maintenant avec Marcel.
Après la rumeur de suicide la méthode des impressions est simplifiée. Tellement simplifiée qu'elle ne signifie
plus rien. Il ne s'est rien passé. Pas question de brutalité, d'acharnement, de cruauté, de chantage ni
d'accident. Mais voyons! Tout le monde aimait bien Marcel. A-t-on influencé, dicté, corrigé ou iàit
recopier des "impressions"? L'homme de 15h, l'unique témoin, est quasi analphabète. Sur un autre navire il
m'avait demandé d'écrire une lettre à sa place! Qu'a-t-il pu écrire au sujet de ses impressions? En Floride
comme au retour à Anvers: quid de Marcel? Rien entendu. Je ne savais pas que d'un monde de 17 ou 18
hommes (notre équipage) il était si facile de disparaître et dans une telle indifférence. "On ne parle pas de corde
dans la maison d'un pendu", ce qui signifie, d'après le Larousse Universel éd. 1923 : "Il ne faut pas parler devant
les gens de choses semblables à celles qui peuvent leur être reprochées". S I L E N C E !
Pourquoi l'équipage n'a-t-il pas le droit d'en savoir un peu plus? Les impressions ont-elles été bien exploitées,
légèrement modifiées ou malheureusement égarées?
Comment le savoir! Il s'agit cependant de la vie et de la mort d'un homme.
Ce billet tient un peu de l'essai (en toute modestie); il n'y a pas de conclusion à cette malheureuse
aventure. A chacun son opinion, à chacun le droit d'être sceptique ou pas devant le peu de bon sens de
l'organisation et du déroulement de l'opération "XXX Marcel". Qui a parlé de simulacre?
Retenez cependant que dans le cas d'une disparition depuis un navire en haute mer il ne faut pas prononcer
le mot "suicide". La rumeur s'affolerait et vous risqueriez, en toute innocence, de couvrir quelque
malveillant personnage.
Je pense à la série TV "FBI : portés disparus" et de m'en inspirer avec ce dialogue-ci partiel et tout à fait
imaginaire:
V.- Mais Jack, le suicide de Marcel...
J.- ... pas si vite Vivian, réfléchissons:
1° vu à 15h dit l'unique témoin vers 17h 15'
2° le navire revient pendant 2hVi, nous savons qu'il vire sur Tb, un large demi-cercle pour prendre la
route inverse "au vent" de la première; il ne revient pas dans sa houache; toute chance s'éloigne;
3° le lookout? symbolique, inexistant
4° lifeboat paré à être affalé en urgence? Non;
5° l'aide du cargo allemand est refusée; pourquoi?
6° le beau coucher de soleil devrait nous donner une idée de l'heure et du temps consacré aux recherches.
J- ... Vous vouliez ajouter quelque chose Vivian?
V.- L'XXX m'interpelle: serait-ce pour satisfaire la bureaucratie ou pour justifier seulement la perte de quelques
heures; à quoi sert un message puisque l'aide du cargo allemand est refusée!
J.- A nous d'établir si ce navire figure dans un rapport
officiel et quelle a été la raison invoquée pour le refus d'assistance; mais... mais si tout ce qui est arrivé ce
jour-là...
V.-... non Jack vous n'allez pas me dire qu'il s'agirait d'un...
J.-... et si l'homme de 15h était un faux témoin ou un bluffeur qui paraît à point nommé; Marcel a été vu à 15h
- admettons - alore vers 17h il pouvait encore se trouver à bord et le navire devait immédiatement
remonter dans sa trace.
V.- C.Q.F.D. Jack!
------ 0 -----"La sécurité de la vie humaine en mer" est certainement de mon métier la préoccupation essentielle mais cela
implique aussi que la sécurité soit d'application à bord. (Remember A.Farcy). Le surlendemain de la disparition
de Marcel je contacte l'U.S.Coast Guard de Norfolk pour poser une question précise: /// Par mer calme et
vent faible combien de temps consacre-t-on à la recherche d'un homme perdu en mer? ///
.
(ouf la question est lancée) (patience)
._ (je sens que de l'autre côté on se renseigne)
2 minutes d'attente et la réponse dans le plus pur style U.S.N.
/// Si la personne est perdue la nuit 12h si c'est le jour 24h. ///
Avisée, la Justice aurait pu mener enquête ou répondre:
"c'était à Marcel de nous prévenir! " Dans mon pays - berceau du surréalisme - tout est possible.
1er mars 2010. Félix Jacquet
14e prom
NEWS
NEW
G L O B A L M A R I T I M E DISTRESS A N D SAFETY SYSTEM M A N U A L ( G M D S S M a n u a l )
(2009 Edition)
The GMDSS Manual provides, in a single comprehensive publication, an explanation of the principles upon which the
GMDSS is based, the radiocommunication requirements and recommendations for its implementation, the operational
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opération of the various radio services which form the GMDSS and the Master Plan for the GMDSS.
The 2009 édition is fully updated and includes:
• Description of the development and the concepts of the GMDSS
• Description of the components of the GMDSS, the carriage requirements and the operational procédures
• Excerpts from the relevant SOLAS régulations for the GMDSS
• Supporting resolutions and circulars relevant to the GMDSS
• The IMO performance standards and related ITU-R Recommendations giving the technical détail of the radio
equipment
• The NAVTEX Manual, the International SafetyNet Manual and the revised Joint IMO/1HGVWMO Manual on Maritime
Safety Information (2009)
• The current GMDSS Master Plan giving the détails of the coastal infrastructure and services provided by member
administrations
• Extracts from the ITU-R Radio Régulations giving the radio regulatory background.
The Manual is intended for use by ship personnel, shore operators, trainers, administrations, regulators and anyone else
concerned with ship communication.
English 1D970E ISBN 978-92-801-15086
£95
GMDSS OPERATING GUIDANCE CARD
(1992 Edition)
This useful A4 (297 mm x 210 mm) card provides guidance on the procédures to be followed under the Global Maritime
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A tough plastic lamination and strips of double-sided adhesive tape on the back S + 4 4 (0)20 7735 7611 [email protected]
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English I969E ISBN 978-92-801-14403
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Une avancée dans la lutte contre les marées noires
Combien de fois n'a-ton pas eu les pires difficultés à vider les carburants des soutes lors
d'accidents maritimes. Ou il fallait percer la coque au risque de voir se déverser une
partie du fuel dans la mer ou il fallait essayer de se frayer un chemin par ailleurs.
Autrement dit, c'est un problème qui n'a jamais été simple à résoudre.
C'est donc une bonne nouvelle que nous annonce la firme Française JLMD Ecologie qui a
développé le système FOR (Fast Oil Recovery). Ce système qui vient d'être agréé par le
Bureau Veritas consiste à placer des conduits qui relient les fonds au pont supérieur. Lors
d'accident il sera beaucoup plus aisé de récupérer le carburant ou les huiles.
D'abord destiné à équiper plus particulièrement les pétroliers, il est maintenant, après
une dizaine d'années de mise au point, à la disposition de n'importe quel type de navire.
C'est en outre un système peu onéreux et facile à installer.
On estime que d'ici 2015, 2.000 bateaux supplémentaires seront équipés du système
FOR.
'

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