Marine salvage

Marine salvage is the process of recovering a ship and its cargo after a shipwreck or other maritime casualty. Salvage may encompass re-floating a vessel, or effecting repairs to a ship. Today, protecting the coastal environment from spillage of oil or other contaminants is a high priority. Before the invention of radio, salvage services would be given to a stricken vessel by any ship that happened to be passing by. Nowadays, most salvage is carried out by specialist salvage firms with dedicated equipment; the legal significance of salvage is that a successful salvor is entitled to a reward, a proportion of the total value of the ship and its cargo. The amount of the award is determined subsequently at a "hearing on the merits" by a maritime court in accordance with Articles 13 and 14 of the International Salvage Convention of 1989; the common law concept of salvage was established by the English Admiralty Court, is defined as "a voluntary successful service provided in order to save maritime property in danger at sea, entitling the salvor to a reward".

A "successful" salvage was one where at least some of the ship or cargo was saved, otherwise the principle of "No Cure, No Pay" meant that the salvor would get nothing. In the 1970s, a number of marine casualties of single-skin-hull tankers led to serious oil spills; such casualties were unattractive to salvors, so the Lloyd's Open Form made provision that a salvor who acts to try to prevent environmental damage will be paid if unsuccessful. This Lloyd's initiative proved so advantageous. All vessels have an international duty to give reasonable assistance to other ships in distress in order to save life, but there is no obligation to try to salve the vessel. Any offer of salvage assistance may be refused; the ship and the salvor will sign up to an LOF agreement so that the terms of salvage are clear. Since 2000, it has become standard to append a SCOPIC clause to the LOF, so as to circumvent the limitations of the "Special Compensation" provisions of the 1989 Convention. In 219 BC, the Chinese Emperor Qin Shihuang assembled an expedition consisting of a thousand people for an unsuccessful salvage attempt of the Nine Tripod Cauldrons.

In Early Modern Europe, diving bells were used for salvage work. In 1658, Albrecht von Treileben was contracted by King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden to salvage the warship Vasa, which sank in Stockholm harbor on its maiden voyage in 1628. Between 1663–1665 von Treileben's divers were successful in raising most of the cannon, working from a diving bell. In 1687, Sir William Phipps used an inverted container to recover £200,000-worth of treasure from a Spanish ship sunk off the coast of San Domingo; the era of modern salvage operations was inaugurated with the development of the first surface supplied diving helmets by the inventors and John Deane and Augustus Siebe, in the 1830s. Royal George, a 100-gun first-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, sank undergoing routine maintenance work in 1782, the Deane brothers were commissioned to perform salvage work on the wreck. Using their new air-pumped diving helmets, they managed to recover about two dozen cannons. Following on from this success, Colonel of the Royal Engineers Charles Pasley commenced the first large scale salvage operation in 1839.

His plan was to break up the wreck of Royal George with gunpowder charges and salvage as much as possible using divers. Pasley's diving salvage operation set many diving milestones, including the first recorded use of the buddy system in diving, when he ordered that his divers operate in pairs. In addition, the first emergency swimming ascent was made by a diver after his air line became tangled and he had to cut it free. A less fortunate milestone was the first medical account of a diver squeeze suffered by a Private Williams: the early diving helmets used had no non-return valves. At the British Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in 1842, Sir John Richardson described the diving apparatus and treatment of diver Roderick Cameron following an injury that occurred on 14 October 1841 during the salvage operations. Pasley recovered 12 more guns in 1839, 11 more in 1840, 6 in 1841. In 1842 he recovered only one iron 12-pounder because he ordered the divers to concentrate on removing the hull timbers rather than search for guns.

Other items recovered, in 1840, included the surgeon's brass instruments, silk garments of satin weave'of which the silk was perfect', pieces of leather. By 1843 the whole of the keel and the bottom timbers had been raised and the site was declared clear. "Salvors" are seamen and engineers who carry out salvage to vessels that they do not own, who are not members of the vessel's original crew. When salving large ships, they may use cranes, floating dry docks and divers to lift and repair submerged or grounded ships, preparing them to be towed by a tugboat; the goal of the salvage may be to repair the vessel at a harbour or dry dock, or to clear a channel for navigation. Salvage operations may aim to prevent pollution or damage to the marine environment. Additionally, the vessel or valuable parts of the vessel or its cargo may be recovered for resale, or for scrap; the refloating of ships strand

Pit of Darkness

Pit of Darkness is a 1961 British thriller film, directed by Lance Comfort and starring William Franklyn and Moira Redmond. The film is an amnesia thriller dealing with a man's attempts to piece together a sequence of strange events in which he seems to have been involved during the time of which he has no memory, based on the novel To Dusty Death by Hugh McCutcheon. Safe-designer Richard Logan comes to consciousness on a patch of waste ground with no recollection of how he came to be there. Assuming he must have been attacked and hit over the head, but feeling no apparent ill-effects, he returns home to wife Julie to apologise for being late and tell his story, he is astonished to learn from Julie that he has been missing not for a few hours, but for three weeks. Furthermore, a troubling series of events has occurred during his absence, which appear to point to his involvement in criminal activity. A safe which he installed in a large house has been robbed and its contents stolen, with no explanation as to how its foolproof security mechanisms were so overridden.

In an attempt to trace her missing husband, Julie has employed a private detective, who discovered evidence implicating Richard of involvement with another woman, more the private detective has been found murdered. Richard enlists Julie's help in trying to recover his memory of the peculiar goings-on of which he has no recollection, he soon becomes aware. Meanwhile, in his confused mental state he is tantalised by random and trivial things – a snatch of a popular song or a conversational nuance – which seem to strike a chord with him, for reasons for which he cannot account, he starts to experience flashbacks so momentary and fleeting that they are gone before his conscious mind can seize them. He begins to question the validity of the assumptions under which he is working, wondering if he may indeed have been involved in criminal activity which his mind has blocked out as a defence mechanism, begins to doubt Julie's integrity, questioning whether she may have far more knowledge of, personal involvement in, what has been happening than she is letting on.

Matters reach a head when he is lured to a country house and confronts a group of men in possession of a bomb. The resulting intrigue appears to jolt his memory back into place, he believes he has found the explanation for what has been going on. William Franklyn as Richard Logan Moira Redmond as Julie Logan Leonard Sachs as Clifton Conrad Bruno Barnabe as Maxie Nigel Green as Jonathan Anthony Booth as Ted Melia Nanette Newman as Mary Bruce Beeby as Peter Mayhew Humphrey Lestocq as Bill Underwood Jacqueline Jones as Mavis Michael Balfour as Fisher Pit of Darkness on IMDb Pit of Darkness at BFI Film & TV Database

Natural Black Inventions: Root Strata

Natural Black Inventions: Root Strata is an album by jazz multi-instrumentalist Rahsaan Roland Kirk featuring performances by Kirk with accompaniment by drummer Maurice McKinley and percussionist Joseph "Habao" Texidor with Sonelius Smith on piano appearing on one track. The Allmusic review by Scott Yanow states: "The performances are episodic and colorful with plenty of humor and adventurous moments, worthy of repeated listenings and amazement". All compositions by Rahsaan Roland Kirk except as indicated."Something for Trane That Trane Could Have Said" - 3:05 "Island Cry" - 3:52 "Runnin' from the Trash" - 2:12 "Day Dream" - 3:40 "The Ragman and the Junkman Ran from the Businessman They Laughed and He Cried" - 3:02 "Breath-A-Thon" - 1:55 "Rahsaanica" - 3:40 "Raped Voices" - 1:54 "Haunted Feelings" - 2:25 "Prelude Back Home" - 3:44 "Dance of the Lobes" - 2:05 "Harder and Harder Spiritual" - 2:02 "Black Root" - 3:17Recorded at Regent Sound Studios, NYC, January 26 and February 4, 1971 Roland Kirk: tenor saxophone, stritch, flute, black mystery pipes, piccolo, bass drum, cymbals, music box, timpani, bird sounds Maurice McKinley.