Monday, October 29, 2012

HMS Bounty replica sinks in hurricane - two hands missing.

Claudene Christian, 42, the crew member who died, was a rookie sailor, but she had a marketing background — and a name and a lineage familiar to anyone who knew the story of the original HMS Bounty, whose crew famously took over the ship from its commander, Lt. William Bligh, in April 1789. The uprising was led by Fletcher Christian, and the story was told in the 1962 Marlon Brando film "Mutiny on the Bounty." It was also featured in one of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies. Claudene Christian said in August she was Fletcher Christian's great-great-great-great-great granddaughter.

(Reuters) - The U.S. Coast Guard on Monday rescued 14 of the 16 crew who abandoned the replica tall ship HMS Bounty while in the path of Hurricane Sandy off North Carolina, using helicopters to lift them from life rafts, the Coast Guard said.

The Coast Guard continued to search for the two missing crew members about 160 miles from the eye of the storm. Officials had previously reported 17 aboard but later revised the figure to 16.

The first of two MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters arrived on scene at about 6:30 a.m. (1030 GMT) and hoisted five people to safety, and a second helicopter arrived and rescued nine people, the Coast Guard said.

A C-130 Hercules aircraft was searching for the two missing crew members and a third rescue helicopter was on its way, the Coast Guard said.

"The 16 people donned cold water survival suits and life jackets before launching in two 25-man lifeboats with canopies," the Coast Guard said.

The tall ship was built for the 1962 movie "Mutiny on the Bounty" and lost power while at sea on Sunday night.

The ship was on its way from New London, Connecticut, to St. Petersburg, Florida, said Tracie Simonin, director of the Bounty. She said she was unsure how the captain attempted the navigate the storm.

"The last we heard the ship was still upright," Simonin said, providing some hope the vessel could still be saved.

The Bounty was about 90 miles southeast of Hatteras, North Carolina, or roughly 160 miles from the center of Sandy, a Category 1 hurricane bearing down on the U.S. East Coast, the Coast Guard said.

The three-mast, 180-foot (55-metre) vessel was believed to be taking on water and was without propulsion, stuck in 40 mile-per-hour winds and 18-foot (5.5-metre) seas, the Coast Guard said.

The original Bounty, a British transport vessel, gained infamy for a mutiny in Tahiti in 1789.

The 1962 movie starred Marlon Brando as lead mutineer Fletcher Christian (who came from the Isle of Man). The replica Bounty has appeared in numerous documentaries and feature films including "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" with Johnny Depp, according to the ship's website.

(Reporting by Daniel Trotta in New York; Editing by Eric Beech and Mohammad Zargham)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Check out this Celtic Site

Dedicated to bringing together Celtic nations, this site is full of interesting bits and pieces.


THE ISLE OF MAN is set to welcome the largest sailing ship in the world ‘Wind Surf’, a Windstar fleet vessel, next year.  The 14,745 tonne, sleek, five-masted yacht, encompassing six decks and accommodating 312 guests, will call on Friday 30th August 2013 as part of a cruise entitled ‘Legendary Links’.   Passengers will visit classic golf locations around the British Isles which includes the renowned Castletown Golf Links.

The Department of Economic Development has been working closely with Isle of Man Golf Tours and other tourism stakeholders to secure the visit of Wind Surf.  Most of the passengers will be American nationals which gives the Isle of Man the opportunity to showcase itself to a very important cruise market.

Windsurf is just one of several vessels now scheduled to visit the Isle of Man during 2013 providing a welcoming boost to the economy.

Geoff Corkish MBE, MHK, Political Member for the Department of Economic Development with responsibility for Tourism said:

‘I have been privileged to welcome many cruise ships on their inaugural visits and I am very pleased to learn that Wind Surf has chosen the Island as one of its ports of call next year.  Golf tourism is becoming increasingly popular and I am confident that our visitors will enjoy testing their skills on the superb high quality Castletown Golf Links course.

‘I hope 2013 cruise passengers will make the most of their time ashore visiting shops, attractions and many more businesses as they did this year.  I’m confident that they will be impressed by all our Island has to offer and I know that during their short stay they will meet great people and most of all they will receive a very warm Manx welcome.’

Angela Byrne, Head of Tourism, said:

‘Tourism continues to play an important role in the visitor economy of the Island and cruise ship visits deliver considerable benefits, providing opportunities for many local companies, including retail and hospitality venues.

‘During 2012 the Department recruited a volunteer team of welcomers and we have had excellent feedback on this initiative from both cruise ship companies and their passengers who have informed us that the welcome they received has contributed greatly to their overall impression of the Island.’ 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


 THE Department of Economic Development has launched a new Isle of Man visitor mobile app, which is available to download for free now on iPhone and is coming soon to Android.

The new app is targeted at those people travelling to the Isle of Man as business or leisure visitors, but will also prove valuable for residents looking for something to do in the evening or at the weekend.

The app allows users to discover over 85 ‘things to see and do’ and ‘places to visit’ via an ingenious ‘shake for inspiration’ tool that takes advantage of the phone’s GPS function. So whether it’s adventure activities, walking, heritage railways, historic attractions, wildlife watching or simply unwinding at a natural beauty spot, the app will help users make the most of their visit.

The app also contains details of over 450 properties and users can contact the proprietors directly via the app, while a built-in What’s On search allows visitors and residents alike to keep up to date with all the latest events taking place on the Island.

The app, which can be used offline so that visitors to the Island will not incur roaming charges by their host network, also features convenient live flight arrival and departure information from Ronaldsway airport and a host of useful travel links.

Geoff Corkish MBE, MHK, Political Member for the Department of Economic Development with responsibility for Tourism said:

‘We are excited to launch the Isle of Man’s first comprehensive, cross-platform visitor information mobile app – yet another forward-thinking step in developing the visitor economy. The app will be of tremendous use to those travelling to the Island on business, for a holiday or just to see their family and friends. I hope our Island residents will also download the app and help spread the word. The Isle of Man is now truly in visitors’ pockets!’

Angela Byrne, Head of Tourism, said:
‘The new app will no doubt help to enhance the visitor experience in the Isle of Man by serving as a convenient visitor information guide – best of all it’s free! The app has social media options built in so I would encourage users to share their visitor experience with friends.

‘I hope visitors and residents alike will take advantage of the app, and spread the word with their friends, relatives and business colleagues that the Isle of Man is only a tap away!’

The app is available to download for free now from the Apple App Store and will be available from Google Play soon.  Look out for special posters around the Island which will allow visitors to download the app straight away using a QR code.

For more information, and to download the app, go to


Media contact:
Angela Byrne, Head of Tourism
Email: Telephone: 01624 687083

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Noooo! Moots in short supply.

Turnip shortage could hit Isle of Man celebration

TurnipsSevere weather has led to a shortage of the crop in the Isle of Man
A traditional Hop-tu-naa celebration held at Cregneash in the Isle of Man could be affected by a lack of turnips, according to Manx National Heritage.
The crop has been ravaged by the wettest summer in Manx history.
Manx National Heritage's Howard Parkin said: "Turnip carving is an important part of the festival but we can't do anything about the weather."
The Manx celebration is traditionally held on 31 October and marks the end of the summer and the beginning of winter.
It is held on the same day as Halloween, which is celebrated with pumpkin carving across the UK and further afield.
Cregneash Village Farm Manager Peter Kelly said: "It's been a terrible year for the crop."
The event is celebrated on 31 October and marks the safe gathering-in of the harvest
He said: "Usually there are around 2,000 turnips in the field. At the moment there are a dozen at most.
"They are small, probably around a third of the size we would expect at this time. It is very disappointing."
The crop is also used as sheep feed through winter and Mr Kelly said: "I've lost three quarters of my sheep feed this year so it is a big issue."
Mr Parkin added: "It is an important part of the festival but there are other vegetables that could be used. So parents can bring whatever they can and we will do our best."
Normally around 3,000 children attend the festival.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Birthing season for Manx seals.

This playful young grey seal was pictured with a flipper raised in the air as it lay on rocks on the Isle of Man.
The shores of the island are set to become swamped with the seals over the coming weeks as this year's birthing season gets into full swing.
Britain is home to nearly half the world’s grey seal population - and the Isle of Man is one of their favourite places to rest and give birth.
Pleased to see you: This cute seal pup appeared to be waving to the camera when it was photographed on the Isle of Man. Pupping season is currently under way on the island
Pleased to see you: This cute seal pup appeared to be waving to the camera when it was photographed on the Isle of Man. Pupping season is currently under way on the island

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Isle of Man Stamps – The Centenary of the Royal Flying Corps

Those magnificent men in their flying machines

The Isle of Man Post Office has celebrated the Centenary of the Royal Flying Corps by issuing a set of six stamps to commemorate their formation.

Formed by Royal Warrant in 1912, the Flying Corps incorporates a Military Wing, Naval Wing, the Central Flying School at Upavon and the Royal Aircraft Factory at Farnborough. The Royal Flying Corps, led by Brigadier General Sir David Henderson, went to war just over two years later with four squadrons comprising 63 aircraft and 900 men. Later in September 1915 the Royal Flying Corps had strengthened to now include 12 squadrons of 161 aircraft, but escalated to 27 squadrons comprising more than 420 aircraft on roll with a further 216 in depots and training. Reconnaissance and artillery spotting became the principal task of the Royal Flying Corps.

Initially aircraft of the Royal Flying Corps flew unmarked, but were later distinguished by the Union Jack painted on their wings which distinguished them from the ‘Hun’.

Major General Hugh Trenchard, as Commander of the Royal Flying Corps in France for much of the war, was the driving force behind the expansion of the Royal Flying Corps so that by the final days of the outfit over 1,200 aircraft were deployed on the Western Front. Closer to home the Royal Flying Corps Home Establishment was responsible for training air and ground crews and preparing squadrons to deploy into France, as well as home defence, defence against German Zeppelin and later the Gotha bomber raids. They were also deployed to the Middle East, the Balkans and Italy.

(C) Valerie Caine

Monday, October 8, 2012

Abbyr shen reesht -- Say that again.

Ta mee gynsaghey Gaelg. (I am learning Manx.)  For the Manx speakers on the island, there's a week dedicated to getting together and chatting in Manx. Here's their ambitious -- and fun -- week ahead.

Claare y Chooish 2012  - Cooish Programme - Jerrey Fouyir - October 7th - 13th
Please find below a rough timetable for this year’s Manx Language Week, (Cooish) which is from the 7th to 13th of October.
With the exception of the meal and music all the events are free.
Of particular note is the Ned Maddrell Lecture where our guest speaker will be coming all the way from Canada. Should prove an interesting lecture and discussion
The meal in St Johns usually costs about £15 and it would be great to see a good turnout that evening. Could people let me know if they’re keen to come as soon as they can
The evening at the Centenary Centre should be a fantastic occasion too – don’t miss it! - Tickets £10/£7 concessions on the door or from the usual outlets.
Finally, please come along and show your support for the language on Saturday 13th in Douglas
Let me know if you need tickets and / or more information
Jedoonee  7 - Leaght Ned Maddrell - Dr Emily McEwan-Fujita at St John’s Mill at 2.00pm where she will discuss the current status of Scottish Gaelic in Nova Scotia.
Jelune 8 - Possan aeglagh ec cafe Laare ayns Doolish - Manx Gaelic Youth Group in Douglas (to be confirmed)
Jemayrt 9 - Gaelg son toshiaghteyryn ec  Patchwork ayns Purt le Moirrey - Manx for beginners in PSM
Jecrean 10 - Leaght y Ghaaue ec yn  Nunnery ayns Doolish - Manx Gaelic Lecture
Jerdein 11 - Bee yn Chooish ec Greens ayns Balley Keeil Eoin - Food at Greens in St Johns
Jeheiney 12 - Kiaull y Chooish ec Ynnyd un Cheead ayns Purt ny h-Inshey
Concert in Peel featuring Scottish musicians Mary Macmaster and Donald Hay together with some of the Island’s top traditional musicians. Successfully blending music from Scotland’s past and present day Europe, Macmaster and Hay combine Scottish Gaelic vocals, harp and percussion with samples and electronica; establishing a fresh approach to Scottish music
Jesarn 13 - Fysseree as kiaull ayns Doolish - Information stand and music in Regent Street Douglas during the afternoon.
Gaelg as Kiaull ec yn Albert ayns Purt le Moirrey  - Session in Port st Mary

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Department supports new partnership to promote extreme sports

THE Department of Economic Development is supporting two local companies which have formed a partnership to help develop extreme sports participation in the Isle of Man. The initiative, which is designed to generate additional visitors to the Isle of Man and increase the number of participants in the Island’s annual sports calendar, is called ‘manXtreme’.

Sports PR specialist Redpoint PR and website developers MXMG have developed the initiative which also has its own website,

As well as strategic assistance, the Department will also assist with a specialist press print and online advertising and PR campaign, with UK-based journalists also being encouraged to take part and report on the events. Many of the events will be filmed and will feature on the website and ‘manXtreme’s dedicated Youtube channel.  A dedicated Facebook page and Twitter feed have also been set up to highlight latest news around the events.

The programme of 21 events features both new and well-established events such as the popular End 2 End Mountain Bike Race and the Parish Walk. It also features the ‘Microgaming Lighthouses Challenge – a 100 mile Cycling Sportive that first took place last year, the dawn to dusk ‘Race the Sun’ Ultra organised by the Children’s Centre and the recently announced TT Triathlon. It also includes fell, road and cross country running events, adventure races, and other cycling and mountain biking events.

The website will feature details of the main sporting calendar as well as downloadable maps and GPS mobile apps for some of the Island’s best mountain bike trails, runs, cycling routes and walks.  Information on other sporting activities on the Isle of Man including sea kayaking, coasteering, surfing, kite surfing and windsurfing as well as open water swimming will also be available.

Visitors to the site will be able to enter many of the events online and book travel and accommodation packages as well as view a directory of event organisers, sports equipment suppliers and other useful contact details for an extreme Manx sporting experience.

Geoff Corkish MBE MHK, the Political Member for Tourism in Department of Economic Development commented:
‘We have a great network of individuals and organisations running extreme events and activities throughout the year and we are looking to present them within a single website that will make it easier for visitors and competitors to come to the Isle of Man.’

‘There is a huge and growing demand for extreme sports in the UK and internationally, particularly among high net worth individuals, and the Isle of Man is perfectly positioned to host and capitalise on this. We will be looking to build effective partnerships between everyone associated with these adrenaline-based sports and activities to generate new visitors and provide a further boost to the local economy.’

Simon Crellin, Director, ManXtreme Ltd, commented:
‘We are looking to work with any local clubs, organisations or providers who have a relevant event or service to promote. This is intended to be a local community initiative, sharing events, ideas and experiences that will hopefully benefit the local economy by also generating visitors.’

The site is now live and information can also be found on Facebook and via the Twitter feed @manXtreme_iom.


Word Count: 529

Notes to Editors

For further information on the calendar of events, to suggest additional events to add to the programme, or for access to high resolution images, contact:

Simon Crellin
Redpoint PR
Tel: 01624 830860
Mob: 07624 246222