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Tales from Mallorca - Two days in an underwater cave running out of oxygen

Three months ago, Xisco Gràcia experienced what he describes as every diver's worst nightmare - he found himself in an underwater cave, relying on an air pocket for survival. As hours turned into days he realised he might not be found in time. On Saturday 15 April, Xisco Gràcia slipped into the water in Mallorca for a routine dive. The geology teacher spent most weekends exploring and mapping the island's complex system of underwater caves. "Mallorca is much more beautiful underground than above ground," he says.     He and his dive buddy, Guillem Mascaró, wanted to explore Sa Piqueta, a cave with numerous chambers 1km from the entrance of the labyrinth. They swam underwater for an hour to get there. While Gràcia spent time collecting rock s...

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Fly over the water with the eFoil electric hydrofoil surfboard

We've seen hydrofoil surfboards before, but never like this one, which has an electric motor to do the work for us. The world may not be ready for the level of cool that is this electric surfboard. Meet the new eFoil from Puerto Rico-based company Lift Foils. It's an electric-powered hydrofoil surfboard, or in layman's terms, a flying surfboard. So if you thought surfing couldn't get any more dope, think again.     The eFoil depends upon a submerged hydrofoil to lift the actual board of the surfboard completely out of the water when you're going at speed. And what's more, these boards actually have an electric motor in the hydrofoil itself so that you can just ride the water without actually doing any work. Think of it as an electric ska...

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Shocking moment luxury yacht explodes in flames in front of horrified onlookers at A-Listers' favourite beach in St Tropez

Luxury vessel was pictured going up in flames while anchored off Plage de Pampelonne, in St Tropez Beach is the most famous in St Tropez, attracting businessmen and celebrities who moor yachts offshore It is not known who owns the vessel, how the fire started, or whether anyone was injured during the blaze   A luxury yacht moored alongside St Tropez' most famous beach has been pictured going up in smoke as it was gutted by a huge fire.  The plume of smoke was easily visible from the sands of Plage de Pampelonne at around 6.30pm on Monday, according to local news site Var Martin. Shocking footage taken from the scene by a Swedish tourist  shows a plume of smoke filling the sky as people stroll about on the beach. The beach attracts the creme de la ...

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Top questions to use in your next interview!

So you are looking for a new Crew member.  Here are some of our top questions when interviewing crew. Safe manning aside ... One thing we have learned at Yotspot is that you should always interview for attitude over skills. You can always change someone's skills... but you can't change their attitude! The following questions are designed to gauge a persons attitude and a few of these used in your next interview can provide you with an excellent way to see if their attitude fits your programme. 1) "Please introduce yourself..." This is a great way to start the interview and help you the interviewer judge the confidence level of the candidate. This is also a good way to refresh your knowledge on the candidate and maybe even hear something about the crew member that ...

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An unknown illness strikes the crew of a 50m MY.

The following is the story from a Captain of a 50m MY who would like to spread the dangers of Scombroid:   "It was a sunny Thursday lunch time and we were set to depart the shipyard in Malta and head back around to the Marina.  Not in any particular rush we made the logical choice to have a quick lunch before heading over.   The time was 1200 and the chef had laid on a lovely spread, perfect for a hot summers day; seared tuna, risotto, salad and nibbles.  Lunch was devoured, the chef and a stewardess headed to the supermarket and pre departure checks were well underway when I get one of those radio calls when you know something has happened but it doesn't fall into the emergency category.  Its 1240 now and I get to the Lazarette wher...

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Workrest - The easiest way to log and monitor hours of rest!

    The easiest way to log and monitor hours of rest!   Workrest has unveiled it's brand new platform designed to save you and your crew hours every month.     Branded the easiest solution for logging and monitoring hours of rest, workrest combines a simple app for crew to log hours in both online and offline modes with a powerful vessel dashboard for captains to track compliance and digitally sign off and export timesheets.   Despite being incredibly simple to use, workrest is packed with industry leading functionality including a specially designed algorithm which performs 200 potential calculations per second to generate the most accurate demonstration of compliance to MLC, STCW and US OPA legislation.   The system helps captains...

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Mystical, Enchanting Ceuta

I didn't know that this place existed until I did my Day Skipper training.   We arrived at the Hercules marina at midday and I was enchanted by the unusual character of the city. It was something like Spain, something like Italy, something like Morocco, very elusive to define or describe.  The people in the marina were sweet and super-friendly and soon I was eager to explore.   The beach was without any enigma, a very lacklustre beach populated by some deeply engrossed readers.  The colours were very muted there.   However the streets were intriguing with their tall buildings and far away horizons.   They felt like they were streets to eternity.  They exuded a strong flavour of classicism.  I did not know anything about Ceuta, have n...

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New French Social Security Laws - coming into force July 2017

Seminar on the French Social Security Decree, Monaco On the 18th May 2017 there was a seminar in Monaco to discuss the recent decree regarding French Social Security payments for seafarers. GEPY, PYA and IYM hosted the tri-association seminar in which a panel of experts addressed many unanswered questions that the yachting industry has on the subject. This was the first time that representatives from the French government had liaised with our sector in this way, so the answers relayed from this seminar were directly 'from the horse's mouth'.   The guest panel included: Patrick Chaumette (Professor of Maritime Social Security and Law at Nantes University) The lawyer for ENIM (the mariners' social security regime) Representatives from&...

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MIN 543 - Changes to sea service verification by the MCA

The PYA would like to advise all seafarers that the MCA has published MIN 543 to implement new arrangements for the verification of Sea Service Testimonials (SSTs) in the yachting sector. The MCA is transferring the task of verifying SSTs from their own staff to an approved 'Verifying Organisation', which the PYA has been since 1994 - when it was first approved by the MCA to verify sea service on its behalf. As from the 24th May 2017, all seafarers in the yachting sector who wish to apply for an NoE or for the renewal of a CoC will be expected to have their SSTs verified PRIOR TO SUBMISSION to the MCA. What does this mean for crew and how can the PYA help both members and non-members?  There will be no change in the procedures for PYA members who are al...

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