Napoli inquiry will seek your views

PUBLISHED: 17:01 10 March 2008 | UPDATED: 21:36 15 June 2010

THE STRICKEN stern of the MSC Napoli looked on as the public inquiry into the incident was officially launched.

THE STRICKEN stern of the MSC Napoli looked on as the public inquiry into the incident was officially launched.Representatives from Devon County Council, East Devon District Council, Dorset County Council and the National Trust were joined by other agencies involved in the incident and villagers from both Beer and Branscombe at the Sea Shanty on Branscombe beach.DCC leader Councillor Brian Greenslade officially launched the first stage of the inquiry, which involves preliminary evidence gathering and inviting contributions from anyone who was affected by the beaching of the Napoli.Margaret Rogers, Branscombe resident and DCC executive member for environment, said: "I'm not concerned with allocating blame. "It has been an earth-shattering experience for a village which, apart from traffic in the summer, is used to a quiet, secure life. "Anyone can let us have their thoughts on how this came about and what their feelings were."The inquiry aims to inform local and national contingency plans to minimise the potential for a similar incident occurring and to ensure the authorities involved are better prepared in future.John Channon, property manager for the National Trust, which owns Branscombe beach, said: "From our point of view, the main problem was that there was a huge lack of clarity in who should do what and who was allowed to do what. "The Receiver of Wreck was not giving a clear message to the police so they were not able to act."Peter Doyle, DCC head of communications, said: "It's a major milestone that we have reached."Somebody has got to ask the questions on behalf of the communities affected. "How did this happen? Why did this happen? And what lessons can we learn from this to ensure that it doesn't happen again?"Interested parties can contribute to the inquiry via the DCC website. Inquiry response packs are also available from local libraries and schools, as well as from the inquiry coordinating office, on (01392) 380101.DCC's community roadshow vehicle will be making stops at Branscombe, Beer, Seaton and Sidmouth in the coming weeks for people to contribute their views to the inquiry.

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