Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Maritime safety

The Coastguard and Maritime Agency has announced that the tug Anglian Sovereign, which has been patrolling  the Minch in recent years, will be withdrawn from that duty next year. The tug was stationed in the waters between the Outer Hebrides and mainland Scotland for safety purposes. The Minch is often used as a passage by large vessels (e.g. oil tankers and bulk carriers) at times of adverse weather conditions, and the tug was posted in the Minch to be able to render immediate assistance if any of these ships got into difficulties. I recall at least one such vessel being kept off the rocks by the Coastguard tug in recent years, and I dread to think what might happen now.

This service cut is part of the Government spending review, announced today.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Anglian Sovereign leaving Stornoway on 4 June 2009"]Anglian Sovereign leaving Stornoway on 4 June 2009[/caption]

15 comments:

  1. that's very short sighted thinking surely?

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  2. I agree Mia, it does seem a bit remiss. I saw the Anglian Sovereign during the summer so I feel I have a proprietorial interest :-)

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  3. As a retired Master Mariner with a good view of the Minch I am astounded that these safety vessels are likely to be withdrawn.
    What short memories our politicians have.
    Remember that coaster that ended up on the Summer Isles? Bulk carriers and ferries with engine trouble?
    As write this the radio tells me that A SUBMARINE HAS GROUNDED in the Minch !!!! What if it is a nuke ??
    If there has to be a charge, let it be paid for from Light Dues.
    Do naval vessels pay these dues ??

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  4. Well Peter, the grounded submarine is indeed a nuke.

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  5. *smug purr* There was more than a snicker or two in this household after the news this evening.

    very shortsighted thinking!

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  6. I think there will have been a few broad smirks on board the Anglian Sovereign this afternoon and evening, as she hauled the sub off the shingleback near Kyleakin. Waddaya reckon, did the Navy deliberately beach their sub, in order that the Coastguard tug had to come and help them out - to make the govt look like [censored]? Oh I shouldn't think like that, no, of course I don't think like that...

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  7. "You may think that, I couldn't possibly comment!" Natch.

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  8. A very 'ASTUTE' move by the powers that be

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  9. Smirks? I imagine they were falling about laughing! Was the rescue tug not the Anglian Prince, though? The name was given in one of the Sunday papers, and the ship was a different colour from the Sovereign. Let's hope they have a rethink.

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  10. You're right, Jill, it was the (checking AIS Minch to see which one is about) Anglian Prince.

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  11. Aha, I see the Anglian Prince is lurking about in Loch Ewe. What a pity the Anglian Sovereign wasn't able to participate in the rescue!

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  12. The Anglians will be much missed in the Northern Isles, especially as the Pentland Firth is one of the roughest bits of water in the world whilst also being oft-used.
    I don't know if it is true, but there was some correspondence in the Orcadian a few years ago about ships not having to call in and id themselves as they pass through, they can only be requested or recommended to do so.
    Does this also apply in the Western Isles?

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  13. Kingdomcat, I understand that this WILL be the case in the Western Isles. At the moment, I believe that supertankers wishing to use the Minch have to have a tug escort. I am open to correction.

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