Tuesday, 11 October 2011

No u-turn on Coastguard tugs

I read on the BBC Cornwall site today that the Anglian Princess has forsaken Cornish shores and has been returned to the owners in Scotland. I believed that the government would question this decision but alas no. We no longer have a rescue tug to aid vessels in distress off our coast.
It certainly is poor timing with an oil tanker running aground off New Zealand in the news, illustrating clearly the potential of maritime disasters. Also it shows the pressing need for assets to be in place to deal with incidents swiftly.
I do hope that Lance Kennedy et al on Cornwall Council will not cancel the maritime fire fighting capacity of Cornwall Fire and Rescue and will work with other agencies to maintain this commitment. I do hope that the council will do so and not follow the governments lead in shirking responsibility for maritime safety.
As much as the Cornish are known in romantic books for wrecking and wishing ill on seafarers in fact the opposite is true. Whether lighthouses built around our coast, or the brave work of lifeboatmen, Cornwall's connection with the sea historically has been one of helping those in trouble at sea whatever the cost and whatever the sacrifice. The question is how to keep this proud tradition alive whilst Westminster does the opposite?

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