Tragedy Underlies Need to Maintain Sea Rescue Service

With maritime and coastguard services throughout the British Isles under threat in recent years because of budgetary constraints both the British and Irish government received a tragic reminder in the last few days of why it is vital that the current level of service is maintained.

The MV Swanland battling to escape worsening storm conditions of the Gwynedd coast was overwhelmed by a massive wave which rolled the vessel in seconds and sank it.

Fortunately due to the vigilance of coastguard services in Wales a major rescue effort was underway within minutes and coastguards, lifeboats and two helicopters from the United Kingdom were joined by two large search and rescue helicopters from the Irish coastguard and also an Irish Air Corps maritime reconnaissance aircraft.

Two crew members for the MV Swanland were rescued promptly. However despite the best efforts of the rescuers no further members of the MV Swanlands seven man crew were recovered safely.

Ironically the rescue operation was coordinated from stations around the Irish Sea which have been under threat of closure. Additionally periodically there have been question marks surrounding the continuation of the current level of search and rescue air assets on both sides of the Irish Sea.

The loss of the MV Swanland sends governments in both Ireland and the UK a clear message that coastguard and airborne search and rescue assets must be maintained at all costs to protect mariners.

(This article compiled for Celtic News by Bernard Moffatt)

Related articles on Celtic News highlighting our opposition to cuts in Maritime safety assets:

https://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_league/message/3714
https://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_league/message/3665
https://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_league/message/3576
https://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_league/message/3550
https://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_league/message/3523
https://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_league/message/3507
https://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_league/message/3512
https://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_league/message/3496
https://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_league/message/3606
https://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_league/message/3622

For comment or clarification on this news item in the first instance contact:

Rhisiart Tal-e-bot, General Secretary, Celtic League:

Tel: 0044 (0)1209 319912
M: 0044 (0)7787318666

gensec@celticleague.net

The General Secretary will determine the appropriate branch or General Council Officer to respond to your query.

ISSUED BY THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE.

03/12/11

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