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Noel Hitchins 1951-2005
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Our Yachting Adventures
Below is a list of links to the main pages about our yacht, Catlypso and our Our Yachting Adventures:
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  • Our Yachting Adventures.
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    Michael and Kelly's 4WD Trips
    Click here for a list of our Four Wheel Drive and Camping Trips.
    Current Kareela Weather
    A summary of the current weather conditions at our house at Kareela, Sydney, is below. Click here for more Detailed Diving Weather and Conditions. Weather from Michael McFadyen's Tempe Weather Station


    Conditions at
    23:49 on 23/1/17

     
    Temperature 25.6°C
    Humidity 65.0%
    Barometer 1003.4hPa
    Rate -0.3hPa/hr
    Wind Speed: 0 km/hr
    Wind Direction S
    Rainfall for Today 0.0mm
    Rainfall last hour 0.0 mm
    Rainfall last 24 hours 0.0 mm
    Rainfall at Start of Month 814.6 mm
    Rainfall this Year 827.0 mm
    Today's Extremes
    High Temperature 31.2°C at 15:48
    Low Temperature 20.9°C at 6:27
    Peak Wind Gust 0km/hr at 0:00
    Weather from Michael McFadyen's Kirrawee Weather Station
    Yesterday's Extremes
    High Temperature 27.5°C at 17:11
    Low Temperature 19.8°C at 6:29
    Rainfall at Start of Yesterday 827.0 mm
    Rainfall at End of Yesterday 827.0 mm
    Weather from Michael McFadyen's Tempe Weather Station
    Astronomical Data
    Sunrise 5:06
    Sunset 19:05
    Moonrise 1:09
    Moonset 15:04

    Home Brewing
    Click here for an article about Home Brewing.
    Sydney Dive Site Hints
    "The Wanderers at 43 m is Sydney's deepest reef dive"
    SS President Coolidge - Closing Statement for Henry Nelson
    Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - Closing Statement for Henry Nelson
    Captain Henry Nelson
    Readings from the Commission against Captain Henry Nelson, Master of the President Coolidge:

    Closing Statement by Henry Nelson's Counsel

    Fatal Failure of Proof

    The Prosecution has shown no jurisdiction over the accused under NCB 333:

    NCB 333 ".....The officers, members of crews, and passengers on board merchant ships of the United States, although not in the naval service of the United Stated, are, under the laws of the United States, the decisions of the courts, and by the very necessities of the case, subject to military control while in the actual theatre of war."

    The prosecution has entered no evidence that Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides was on October 26, 1942, an "actual theatre of war". Such fact is not one of judicial notice. See NCB 309. Nor, even if it were, has the prosecution requested that such notice be taken as required by NCB 309.

    The judge advocate has stated that matters of geographical location are within the judicial notice of the court. But this matter of actual theatre of war is not a geographical factor. You cannot take judicial notice of the activities conducted in that area by human beings. But they have made it an actual theatre of war, the judge advocate will say, there are mines there and the captain of the Coolidge admits there was the possibility of enemy submarines there. The gentlemen of the commission will admit that there are mines in San Francisco, and there is a possibility of enemy submarines and there are mines in all the harbors of Australia, and there are submarines there. Is that going to be the indicia for actual theatre of war. Further what is an actual theatre of war? To my mind that phrase implies an area where there is combat. There was no combat in Espiritu Santo on that date.

    VIII

    It is maintained that the loss of the President Coolidge was due:
    1. To the inefficiency of the Port Director's Office at Noumea, in that, Captain Nelson was not given directions for safely approaching Segond Channel and was not informed that these waters were mined and in the haphazard way that the enclosures were attached to the basic routing instructions and delivered to the President Coolidge,
    2. and to the inefficiency of an inexperienced commanding officer of a navy patrol and pilot boat, and
    3. to the inefficiency of Navy signalmen.

    It is believed and it has been demonstrated that Captain Nelson should be acquitted of the charge and specification. Thank you Gentlemen.

    Chester C. Hosmer
    Lieutenant (JG) USNR

    Return to the Investigation into Sinking Page.

    Return to the Main SS President Coolidge Index Page.

    References:

  • Copies of original papers from the Court Martial given to me by Kevin Green of Aquamarine Diving, Santo
  • The Lady and the President - The Life and Loss of the S.S. President Coolidge by Peter Stone

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