Council backs Napoli recommendation

PUBLISHED: 13:44 19 February 2009 | UPDATED: 23:04 15 June 2010

EAST Devon District Council has backed a motion supporting a major recommendation from the inquiry into the MSC Napoi incident.

EAST Devon District Council has backed a motion supporting a major recommendation from the inquiry into the MSC Napoi incident.

Following the grounding of the ship, near Branscombe in January 2007, an inquiry was recently held by Devon County Council.

Among the recommendations was that the maritime controller appointed by the Government (SOSREP, or Secretary of State's Representative) should be supplemented where necessary by an on-shore controller. This official would handle such issues as the beach-combing carried out by treasure seekers who raided Branscombe beach in search of valuable booty.

The motion passed said: "This Council supports the Napoli Inquiry report and its recommendations and in particular its recommendation that the Secretary of State should consider appointing a landward equivalent of SOSREP as a generic post to be filled as required when an incident at sea has or is about to come ashore."

The motion was proposed by Councillor Chris Gibbings, EDDC's Community Safety Champion, who was a member of the panel for the Napoli Inquiry, who said: "At present there is no clear understanding of who is in overall control of land operations when a ship comes ashore.

"Once clear and unambiguous leadership is established, all agencies have to work to that leadership and early important decisions can be made and implemented.

"It appeared to the Inquiry that a lot of time was initially wasted setting up meetings and having discussions with numerous interested parties before someone took control on land, by which time the infamous actions of a few on Branscombe beach had become worldwide news. This was in total contrast to the immediate efficient way the incident was dealt with at sea.


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