Britains first WWI merchant wreck set to become marine reserve after amateur diver

first_imgAlthough the wreck is off-limits to tourist divers, the government has allowed fishing rights in the area, which could be causing the reduction in marine life.  Since then, he has led two Royal Geographical Society expeditions to the islands. Christopher Lees, an amateur diver whose grandfather Alan was the ship’s radio operator, also joined the team.However, a more recent dive revealed that marine life on the wreck has been depleted and Mr Dover has appealed to the Omani government to prevent human disturbance of the wreck and the marine species that live there. The City of Winchester, pictured, was the first British merchant vessel to be sunk by the German Navy during World War One.Credit:Paul Fearn/Alamy Stock Photo Mr Dover wants to establish a 25-mile ‘No Take Zone’ around the islands, which would ban fishing altogether. Alan Lees, the radio operator of the City of Winchester, whose grandson Christopher joined an expedition to see the wreck. The City of Winchester Alan Lees, the radio operator of the City of Winchester Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. An amateur scuba diver who bought a First World War-era British merchant shipwreck for £1 in the 1990s is planning to turn it into a protected area for marine wildlife.Steve Dover discovered the wreck of the merchant ship the City of Winchester while scuba diving off the coast of Oman’s Hallaniyat Islands.The ship was the first British merchant vessel to be sunk during the First World War. Crew members had left before a German light cruiser shelled it in 1914, sending its cargo of tea and antlers to the ocean floor.In 1998, the Omani government agreed to sell the wreck to Mr Dover, allowing him to take expeditions of scuba divers to see the Arabian humpback whales and dolphins that congregated in the man-made reef.“It was the most exciting moment in life, to have found it,” Mr Dover told the BBC. “We were hugging each other, dancing around the prop, the propellor at the bottom of the rudder.”last_img read more

Revenue using social networks to catch tax dodgers

first_imgTHE FINANCE MINISTER has told an Oireachtas committee that social networks are being used to hunt tax cheats.In his introductory remarks to today’s Finance Sub-Committee, Michael Noonan said that ‘big data’ was helping crack down on tax evasion.“To detect those involved in tax evasion, shadow economy and smuggling activities Revenue used ‘big data’ and innovative technology such as social network analysis and predictive analytics.”Despite the hi-tech methods employed, Revenue has asked for a budget down on 2013′s allocation – €320 million against last year’s €323 million.Noonan added that compliance with the Local Property Tax stood at 91 per cent, with €76 million already collected for this year.The Minister said that an “effective and modern” tax regime was “crucial”.A Revenue spokesperson had not responded to a request for comment before posting.Read: €24.5m yielded by Revenue in compliance campaign for those with two pensionsRead: Lawyer found guilty of tax evasion – four years after he diedlast_img read more