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'Serious questions' need to be asked over cargo ship tragedy

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 07.01.2015 09:35
Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) Liam McArthur has said 'serious questions' need to be raised about the 3 January sinking of a cargo ship that resulted in the deaths of 7 Poles and one Filipino.

A handout picture provided by the British Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) on 03 January 2015 shows the hull of an upturned cargo vessel off the coast of Northern Scotland, Britain, 03 January 2015. EPA.

McArthur, who is an MSP for the Orkney Islands, raised the matter in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday afternoon, during the so-called Topical Questions period.

“We will need to await the outcome of the MAIB investigation before learning what happened, and what lessons must be learned,'' he noted.

''For now, though, there appear to be serious questions about why it took so long to identify that a large cargo ship, passing through a busy stretch of water like the Pentland Firth, was in such difficulty.

“It is not at all clear, for example, why emergency positioning beacons on-board the Cemfjord or its life rafts were not activated. No doubt this is something MAIB will be looking at very closely indeed.”

McArthur described the sinking of the cargo ship, during which all 8 members of crew perished, as ''an awful tragedy.''

He also stressed the need to salvage the bodies of the victims as swiftly as possible, adding that he welcomed ''the Minister’s confirmation that discussions are underway aimed at trying to retrieve the bodies from the Cemfjord, whose location has now been pinpointed.

''This will not be an easy task, but it is surely the least the families of these eight crew members have a right to expect.” (nh)

Source: orcadian.co.uk

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