Ships have been sounding their fog horns off Penarth this afternoon as an unusually thick sea fog rolled in and completely obscured vision for every vessel on the water.
Penarth’s piermaster Peter Andrews said the Flatholm foghorn had been sounded incessantly as vision dropped at sea level from miles to mere feet.
From Penarth Head, the Bristol Channel, the pier and the sea front became totally invisible – and completely obscured by a blanket of grey fog.
All the ships and fishing boats in the area sounded fog horns – but acoustics in dense fog can be deceiving and it was difficult to tell where sounds were coming from.
The large oil tanker Bro Developer – which couldn ‘t be seen by anyone either on the cliff tops, or on the pier, or on the Esplanade – sounded her horn a regular intervals as she very cautiously and slowly navigated her way from Cardiff Docks – passing Penarth Pier totally unseen.
At sea immediately ahead of her was the cargo vessel Vanquish waiting to enter Cardiff. AIS plots seemed to indicate that in a safety maneouver Vanquish turned around to head down-channel in the same direction as Bro Developer and waited until the big tanker had left the area.
The two ships came close – but with their radar and AIS systems maintained a safe separation even though neither vessel could be seen by the other .
Penarth Piermaster Peter Andrews said it was a long time since he had seen a fog so thick – but despite the weather he’ll be heading out on a practice run board the Barry lifeboat tonight – on which he is a crew member .
To hear – if not see – the ships off Penarth this afternoon press the play button below.