Salvage firm ‘has done a brilliant, efficient job

Joseph Bulmer

SIR - Regarding your article: “Training To Cope With Pollution”. While I am sure the day’s training on the beach for officers at Torridge and North Devon Councils was very worthwhile and I would not wish to criticise what looked like a “fun” day out away from tedious office routine, - I wonder if I might draw their attention to the problems of pollution here and now on their doorstep?

We have a rotting boat tied up at the Instow BP Jetty. We have no fewer than three more rotting boats at Appledore - one of which I have been informed contains quantities of oil.

I understant that the Contractors DRS were promised 600-tons salvage from the Severn Sands as they are not being paid for their work. However, it seems they will be lucky to make 300-tons salvage from this boat. I believe this boat was originally going to be taken to Instow Jetty where the other rotting boat is tied up - and could have had a salvage price for the contractors. Is this now not going to happen?

Why cannot all these four rotting boats be given over to these contractors while these experts are still here in North Devon - thus avoiding any further “toxic time bombs” breaking up and polluting our estuary?

Do owners of rotting hulks actually expect payment for their boats in order for the taxpayer to try to avoid these disasters from polluting our estuaries? Are we, in fact, being held to ransom? Can we have some answers please?

It is my personal opinion, based on my observations, that these workers have done a brilliant, fast and very efficient job in difficult and dangerous circumstances for the people of North Devon.

It is also my personal opinion that both DRS and local people who enjoy our estuary are being short changed! While these experts are here - why can’t someone in the dozens of authorities involved in the “day out in the mud exercise” actually make a decision and get DRS to break up and remove for salvage all four of these rotting boats, in order to prevent future pollution of our estuary?

Joanne Bell, West Yelland