Britain’s Royal Air Force released new images of the world’s largest iceberg reporting significant changes confirmed by the British Forces South Atlantic Islands (BFSAI) during its routine patrols of the region. Using an RAF Airbus 400M the crew was able to investigate and photograph changes to the berg known simply as A68a.
Confirmed by recent satellite imagery and overflights by the RAF, the berg is believed to have grounded on the oceanic shelf as it approached South Georgia island and has begun to break apart into several large sections.
BFSAI reports that as the current around South Georgia spun the iceberg, a large section broke off. A new section estimated to measure approximately 55 square miles calved from the northern section of A68a and has now been designated A68d. It is currently approximately 30 nautical miles away from South Georgia.
A68d with A68a visible in the distance – BFSAI photo
“Following the news of the break-up of iceberg A68a, we focused the sortie to capture the first imagery of A68d,” said Flight Lieutenant Stuart Coffey, captain of the A400M. “It was a genuine privilege to be the captain of such an extraordinary sortie and for the crew and I to be involved in such a unique project. We hope that the spectacular photos will contribute greatly to the understanding of the dynamics at play.”
With the backdrop of South Georgia’s mountains, BFSAI said that the new iceberg is an impressive, yet potentially hazardous, addition to the scenery.
The A400M sortie was able to capture the first imagery and video footage of A68d. The true nature of the threat of this iceberg to the wildlife haven of South Georgia is still being assessed, and will attract on-going interest from the Antarctic scientific community during its journey says BFSAI. Further monitoring of A68d will determine whether it is stationary on the shelf or continuing around the island.
Debris breaking away from A68a – BFSAI photo
The original berg, A68a, broke away from the Antarctica ice shelf in July 2017. At the time, scientists estimated its size at nearly 6,000 sq km (approximately 2,300 sq. miles). They said it could weigh more than one trillion tons. Over the past three years, scientists have been closely tracking its progress as it slowly drifts towards the British islands. While the berg decreased by a third to approximately 4,200 sq km (1,600 sq miles) it remained the largest known piece to have broken from the ice shelf in Antarctica. The recent observations reported that A68a continues to drift on the Southern Ocean current on an easterly course.
Commenting on his observations of A68a on this particular sortie, Corporal Philip Dye, BFSAI photographer, said ‘’’It was evident as we rounded the south-eastern corner of South Georgia that the amount of bergy bits and debris had increased significantly in comparison to the previous sorties.’’
The increased number of pieces of ice, which are smaller than the two primary bergs, are considered a menace to shipping and may also pose a threat to the wildlife in the waters and that live in and around the islands.
Debris breaking away from A68a – BFSAI photo
Ever larger fissures and cracks are appearing at the edges of A68a – BFSAI photo
In June, a UK Royal Navy destroyer and Dutch Royal Navy ship safely moored in Odessa, Ukraine, were spoofed to locations off-shore of a Russian naval base on Crimea. One week later, it was a US Navy ship moored in the same port that was spoofed (above). These are interesting cases in several ways. First, how […]
A massive fire broke out at the Port of Beirut on Thursday, incinerating a warehouse full of tires and oil within the port’s free zone. The same area was heavily damaged in the ammonium nitrate explosion that leveled the central port area and the adjacent waterfront on August 4. According to Lebanon’s civil defense agency, […]
Over the course of the past five days, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority arranged a medical intervention for an injured aboard a freighter in the Indian Ocean. On Saturday evening, the Spliethoff tweendecker Dolfijngracht called for assistance while under way about 1,000 nauical miles off the coast of Western Australia. A crewmember had sustained serious […]
The UK government’s new post-Brexit tariff regime will result in both winners and losers. The new regime is set to replace the European Union’s Common External Tariff from the end of the Brexit Transition Period on December 31, 2020. The UK’s commitment to the ongoing Brexit process and ending the UK’s transition from EU membership […]
The First DP2, Twin-Hulled SOV in the World, NB72 Groene Wind met the Sea on September 29. 2020 in Yalova, Turkey. The Groene Wind will be directly chartered to Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy for the maintenance of the Rentel and Mermaid & Seastar (known as SeaMade) offshore wind farms in Belgium. This is the first DP2, […]
The U-Freight Group (UFL), with its considerable involvement in eCommerce logistics, says that the latest statistics showing that global e-commerce sales hit $25.6 trillion in 2018 are a further vindication of its decision to enter this sector of the international freight market several years ago. The latest available estimates, up 8% from 2017, were recently […]
DSV Belgium has solid experience in the transport of pharmaceutical products for different customers. With a pharma hub based at Brussels Airport a lot of experience and know-how has been built up over the years. Last weekend, the forwarder handled one hundred million mouth masks, an important milestone for its Belgian organisation that has put […]
With close to 100 daily cargo flights operated to a destination network spanning more than 65 cities across six continents, Emirates SkyCargo is delivering essential supplies and commodities to people around the world. The air cargo carrier is currently operating 11 Boeing 777 freighter aircraft, each with a capacity to transport about 100 tonnes of […]
The naval forces of the US and Bahrain recently staged a joint force training exercise which showcased the interoperability between coalition warships operating I the Arabian Gulf. Coalition Task Force Sentinel executed combined exercise Sentinel Shield supporting Sentry and Sentinel patrols in the coalition’s area of operations. The guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones and […]
Operators can continue to use pilots and other crew members who have unable to comply with certain training, recent experience, testing, and checking requirements due to the COVID-19 outbreak in support of essential operations. Additionally, this Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) provides regulatory relief to certain persons and pilot schools unable to meet duration and […]
Astral Aviation has increased its intra-African network with cargo freighters during the pandemic. While there has been a reduction in capacity to, from, and within Africa, which has been caused by a stoppage of passenger flights and limited frequencies on freighter aircraft, Astral Aviation continues to operate cargo freighters from its Nairobi hub to 13 destinations […]
Best known as a leading passenger airport serving Germany’s most populated federal state North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf has become transformed into a vital distribution point, during the COVID 19 pandemic, for medical equipment and other life-saving goods, mostly from China. Gerton Hulsman, managing director of cargo operations, reports that the handling teams are working hard to […]
Callan Marine is serving as the prime contractor to the Texas Department of Transportation for a maintenance dredging project located at the Bolivar Ferry Terminal, in Galveston, Texas. Work began in May and is estimated to be complete in late July 2020. The project consists of the removal of 600,000 cubic yards of material and […]
Emirates SkyCargo has expanded its weekly scheduled cargo flight operations to cover 75 destinations across six continents. Through its wider reach, Emirates SkyCargo is able to transport essential commodities and other urgently needed cargo more rapidly across the world, allowing exporters and importers across markets to benefit from direct access to widebody cargo capacity. Some […]
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a Marine Accident Brief about an accident that occurred on April 15, 2019, involving the towing vessel DeJeanne Maria which struck the end of a submerged dredge pipeline while pushing two spud barges to the Gulf of Mexico. The incident occurred on the Mississippi River in Pass […]
Global commercial aviation charter company Albion Aviation Group is reporting that it is seeing a considerable uptake in its professional cargo broker training courses from the current global pandemic crisis and surge in charter demand. “We have completed a number webinar courses for a whole of host of companies, looking to manage their own cargo […]