View Full Version : Pentland Coastguard RIP

Low Flier
3rd Jan 2015, 20:25
In the late 1990s when Bliar came to power with his Hampstead champagne socialist set, he made Glenda Jackson (of all people!) the Transport Minister.

La Glenda Shiplady set about saving a few bob for Bliar's bankster chums and she felt-tipped out the budget for Pentland Coastguard.

Now I don't think think I can easily tell pprooners what an extremely vicious piece of water the Pentland Firth is. I have personal sea stories to tell of what I have actually seen on that stretch of water, but the most important thing to know about the place is that it is a ship-killer. Local knowledge is paramount.

Once upon a time (this is neither a sea story nor a fairy story) there was a manned Coastguard station there which was crewed by seafarers who knew and watched the waters well. Then Glenda Shiplady rubbed them put and replaced them with a VHF repeater. Lord Goschen Of The Ocean, a public schoolboy of the Tory/Bliar variety, was no better.

Now look what has happened (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-30667084), totally unnoticed by HMCG in the area at any time which could have made a difference.

The daily ferry between Shetland and Aberdeen found the upturned hull of a Norwegian coaster. No Mayday call, no proper monitoring of its passage and disappearance by the now no longer extant Pentland Coastguard.

Just a ship with eight souls on board, vanished - other than the fact that a well-known ferry saw the prow and for'ard keel of the sinking hull on the surface.

No signal from the EPIRBs (maritime and floaty equivalent of ELT). No Mayday. Just an upturned hull. Nobody at the former Pentland Coastguard station keeping a hen-like watch on the passage of chick-like ships through the chicken-run. No nuttin' until a watchkeeper on a ship made a WTF observation report.

JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs understand the tradeoff between munnymunny and seafarers lives. I do not.

3rd Jan 2015, 20:31
Surprising that the EPIRB didn't float free.......Assuming that it was in good working order and had been tested in accordance with its instructions. Regrettably, one thing ship owners in general don't like to spend money on is safety equipment......and it wasn't Norwegian registered.

Low Flier
3rd Jan 2015, 20:39
The Norwegian ship was outflagged to Cyprus.

Dunno whether that was relevant. Probably not.

The demise of the old Pentland coastguard really isn't a Noggie thing. More of a ZanuLabour thing, methinks.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
3rd Jan 2015, 21:00
Glenda Jackson was Transport Minister? Tell me that's a wind up! Even the loony Blair administration wasn't that mad, surely?

barry lloyd
3rd Jan 2015, 21:11
Glenda Jackson was Transport Minister? Tell me that's a wind up! Even the loony Blair administration wasn't that mad, surely?

From Wiki:

The bad news, followed by the good news...

Before 2010, Jackson was the MP for Hampstead and Highgate, and early in the government of Tony Blair served as a Junior Transport minister from 1997 to 1999, later becoming critical of Blair. After constituency boundary changes for the 2010 general election, her majority of 42 votes was one of the closest results of the entire election.[2] She announced in 2011 that she will stand down as an MP at the next general election.

3rd Jan 2015, 21:16
Apparently the foundered ship is thought to have been nearly 24 hours before being discovered.
The last confirmed sighting of the vessel was at about 13:00 on Friday.
It is understood the alarm was raised by the crew of the ferry Hrossey at 14:30 on Saturday.
As mentioned, the presence of a Coastguard overseeing the Pentland Firth might have made all the difference to the poor souls who are, presumably, entombed in their sunken vessel.

Low Flier
3rd Jan 2015, 21:24
RIP Pentland Coastguard.


Granite City Express
3rd Jan 2015, 22:15
The SNP called for an emergency debate in 1999 in both Westminster and Holyrood to try to prevent the closure of both the Pentland and Oban Coastguard stations, but as the Coastguard is a reserved issue, the Westminster government and Labour controlled Holyrood rejected the requests.

The Scottish Government has regularly requested that the MCA be devolved and that the MCA tugs be returned to service. These requests have all been denied.

I guess we are Better Together :(

3rd Jan 2015, 22:41
The local emergency tug was under threat of removal (http://www.orcadian.co.uk/2012/07/coastguard-tug-in-orkney/)

Low Flier
3rd Jan 2015, 22:46
Leave the WeeFrees and the NatzionalSocialists out of it, please.

The SNP may or may not (in the real world, quite certainly not!) have "called for" something or other in Holyrood park in the 1990s. Tossers.

Pentland Coastguard was destroyed by monetarist greed and was inadequately replaced by a VHF repeater.

What happened this weekend in the Pentland Firth was a near crime against seamanship.

The old-fashioned coastwatchers of Pentland Firth, ie Pentland Coastguard, would quite certainly have noticed, in real time, the apparent disappearance of the coastal vessel.

No coastwatchers: no notice.

A regular daily ferry spotted the upturned hull, many hours after the unnoticed disappearance from computer screens.

That is awful.

3rd Jan 2015, 22:47
One wonders if this will give some of the honourable members suitable impetus to raise this matter again in the house, come Monday morning and perhaps demand an explanation from the sainted Tony & his mob about what calculations the y did to justify removing the coastguard in the first place, or the current mob and their calculations justifying it not being restored....

Or, perhaps failing that, maybe the Times, Telegraph or Express will pick it up and run with it on Monday. I suppose the Mail might take it up as well, as it could equally be a route for illegals to make landfall.

Granite City Express
3rd Jan 2015, 23:03
The SNP may or may not (in the real world, quite certainly not!) have "called for" something or other in Holyrood park in the 1990s. Tossers.Good to see you are going to enter into mature conversation. :ugh:

4th Jan 2015, 00:56
It's not only Pentland that is the victim of utter, total stupidity...

31 October 2014. The coastguard station at Brixham in Devon has closed as part of a shake-up of rescue services.

The station has co-ordinated search and rescue services between Exmouth and Dodman Point, Cornwall, since 1984.

The station, along with Solent in Hampshire and Portland in Dorset, is being replaced by a national rescue centre in Segensworth, Hampshire.

Twenty six staff and managers have lost their jobs in Brixham and the building will be sold.

In case you are not immediately familiar with that centre of maritime excellence called "Segensworth"............here's what Wiki says;

Segensworth is a business park at Whiteley / Fareham in Hampshire in England. It is near junction 9 of the M27 midway between Southampton and Portsmouth.

And there are other stations closed or closing, on the earnest say-so of idiots who know nothing except spreadsheets.

You couldn't make it up. May God help all seafarers, because the Maritime and Coastguard Agency certainly won't from their business park.

If you call them up to tell them that you are in the race off Start Point, they'll probably ask where the finish line is..

Jesus wept.

4th Jan 2015, 01:01
Solent too?

Rescue under way as car transporter runs aground in Solent - BBC News (http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-30670746)

Low Flier
4th Jan 2015, 08:46
Somebody like Glenda Jackson couldn't possibly understand the predictable consequences of getting rid of Pentland Coastguard. You really have to experience that stretch of water to understand what it is capable of doing to small and medium sized ships.

The tidal and density currents of the North Sea and the North Atlantic are completely different to eachother and almost never in phase. You therefore have quite different sea "levels" on each side of Northern Scotland and the water is constantly rushing one way or another, often both ways simultaneously. It can't go through Scotland so it has to go around the top end, ie through the Pentland Firth. It's quite common to have currents of eight knots or more going in different direction, sometimes on reciprocal tracks, in very close proximity to eachother. This generates eddy currents and vortices which spin at up to 21 knots, going in opposite directions within a ship length. They form quite suddenly and can be impossible to steer around.

With the the water at the bow going from left to right while the water at the stern is going the opposite way at a similar speed you get a massive yaw moment which can flick the heading through 120 faster than the helmsman can swear. A secondary effect of yaw in a ship is roll, called heel. If she heels more than the maximum heeling stability angle she is liable to capsize. Add in dynamic instability and then add in a cargo shift, and she'll flick roll in a manner somewhat similar to a helicopter in dynamic rollover.

I suspect that's what happened to this ship.

The truly awful thing is that most of the crew were probably alive for many tens of minutes, or even hours, in airpockets within the accommodation.

With no Pentland Coastguard keeping an eye on things, those poor buggers would have been waiting in vain for a rescue effort to be launched. By the time the daily ferry came along and saw the inverted hull down by the stern, it was probably too late to save those men.

When ZanuLabour scrapped Pentland Coastguard and dispersed all that local knowledge and expertise to the four corners of Britain, many of us made dark brooding warnings of dire consequences some day. Somewhere deep in the archives of The Orcadian and The Shetland News you will find letters to the editor, including one written by myself, which very directly predicted that one day this silly little cost-saving (ISTR it was around a million a year) would cost seafarers their lives. I didn't think it was a fair trade then and I don't now.

In those letters I didn't actually call TBLiar a bastard, nor did I call the ridiculous Glenda Shiplady a silly little cnut, but that's what there are.

Lon More
4th Jan 2015, 08:59
Leave the WeeFrees and the NatzionalSocialists out of it, please.

So mature. Your Original post was not politicised?

No guarantee that the Coastguard would actually have seen it though, and as Mr. D. pointed out elsewhere the likelyhood of anybody being in the focsul was small. Hopefully his link (http://www.seanews.com.tr/article/ACCIDENTS/132164/Cemfjord/) wasn't still relevant

Must have some good binoculars at Segensworth

Low Flier
4th Jan 2015, 09:38

Thankyou for explaining the odd patches to the forefoot of the hull, Lonmore. I did wonder about them.

Don't think that's relevant to the destruction of Pentland Coastguard or the deaths of the eight crewmen though.

As for "politicisation", it was politicians who destroyed Pentland Coastguard, not me. I did not "politicise" the actions of the politicians. I excoriated and condemned them.

The NatzionalSocialists have had ample time and money to reinstate Pentland Coastguard. They are no better than the Champagne Socialists of ZanuLabia and the Tories in this matter.

4th Jan 2015, 09:55
The main problem isn't really the politicians who change their personnel regularly, but the civil service, and more particularly, the treasury, who's dead hand can be seen everywhere.

The stupidest thing I have come across is in Scarborough where the EU set out a directive for coastal vessels of not more than three miles offshore and not more than eight miles from a port of refuge.

Our UK MCA changed that to not more than three miles out to sea and not more than eight miles from the port of origin, thus killing the Brid - Scarborough - Whitby coastal trips at a stroke!

The politicians tried to reverse it to the EU wording but the MCA would have none of it - so don't necessarily always look to Westminster or to Brussels for the blame!

Granite City Express
4th Jan 2015, 09:59
The NatzionalSocialists have had ample time and money to reinstate Pentland Coastguard. They are no better than the Champagne Socialists of ZanuLabia and the Tories in this matter.The MCA is a reserved matter, that means Holyrood has no say in the matter, but then why let facts get in the way of childish insults?

4th Jan 2015, 12:15
What is so special about Hampshire for these all embracing control points? Swanwick, Segensworth - what next is moving to a national control centre there? Ambulances? Police? Fire?

4th Jan 2015, 13:33
Perhaps if we didn't have to subsidise the rUK we could reinstate the Pentland Coastguard.

It's as good an argument for independence as one could wish for.

4th Jan 2015, 16:26
As it was closed by a labour government in the late 90's would it not have been up to the previous administration to have fund it and save it???

i.e. the lab/lib coalition

Going against the orders of London??

not likely

Super VC-10
4th Jan 2015, 17:58

Lon More
4th Jan 2015, 18:06
i.e. the lab/lib coalition

??? Have we missed something?

4th Jan 2015, 18:16
For your info Lon More

The Scottish Parliament election, 1999 was the first general election of the Scottish Parliament, with voting taking place on 6 May 1999 to elect 129 members. Following the election, the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats formed the Scottish Executive, with Labour Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) Donald Dewar becoming First Minister.

Scottish Parliament general election, 1999 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_Parliament_general_election%2C_1999)

A Labour and Liberal coalition