Thursday, January 22, 2009

First Look - Sinegorsk Driftwood From Above

I've been up taking photos of the wood washed ashore at Ramsgate for the papers this afternoon. (photo is copyright) but I thought readers might like to see the results.

Thanet District Council have also issued a press release:

"People are being urged to stay away from the Thanet shoreline, where timber is being washed ashore and are being warned not to remove any of the timber.

The response to the situation is being coordinated through Thanet District Council, Kent Police, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and Kent County Council, with Kent Police authorised by the Receiver of Wreck to act on her behalf. People failing to comply with their directions could be committing an offence and may be arrested, and failure to report recovery of timber to the Receiver of Wreck is a criminal offence, on conviction, you may be fined up to £2,500.

The timber, which came from the cargo ship Sinegorsk in the English Channel, began washing ashore on beaches around Ramsgate and Broadstairs following the strong southerly winds overnight. Warnings have already been issued from the police that stealing the timber is a criminal offence. Beaches where the timber has been washed ashore have been closed to vehicles and officers from Kent Police and Thanet District Council are patrolling these areas to keep people away from the timber for their own safety. Contractors have been appointed by the Insurers to recover the lost cargo.

A timber reporting line has been established by Kent County Council. Any member of the public sighting washed up timber cargo are requested to call 08458 247247.

Area Commander for East Kent, Chief Superintendent John Molloy, said: ‘We are working with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and our partner agencies to make the beaches safe. I would like to remind people that the shoreline can be a dangerous place, particularly with the current poor weather and people could be putting themselves at an unnecessary risk by venturing into the sea to salvage the timber. This cargo remains the property of the original owner and to steal it is not only foolhardy, but also a criminal offence.

“Whilst I appreciate that this sight is not commonplace and people may wish to take a look, we ask that they do this from a safe distance and leave the timber alone. Where appropriate, we will also take action against those who create a nuisance, park dangerously or trespass. Anyone who does venture to the shore to look should park their car considerately so that emergency vehicles could gain access to the area should they be required.

Leader of Thanet District Council, Cllr. Sandy Ezekiel, said: “Council officers are down at the affected beaches with colleagues from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and the police. It’s really important that people stay away from the coastline at the moment. Having been down to check the scene for myself, I know how poor the weather conditions are right now and anyone who tries to get near the timber will be putting themselves at risk. We’d also like to echo the warnings that the police have already given out to anyone thinking of removing timber from the beaches.”

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