Passing under the radar
When visiting Scotland, I usually stay at Dalgety Bay, Fife, looking out across the Firth of Forth to Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh.
One evening recently, in the darkness I could see the shape and navigation lights of a large tanker accompanied by a few sturdy tugs heading outward from the Hound Point oil terminal just to the east of the Forth Rail Bridge. Quiet and unnoticed by most, but playing a vital role in keeping this nation supplied, this ship and her seafarers slipped silently away into the darkness. Her passing unnoticed into the night epitomised to me the vital but often understated role played by the Merchant Navy itself. As an island maritime nation, we depend on the exports and imports carried by the ships that supply us but public and politicians alike seem largely unaware of the Merchant Navy and its integral part in our everyday life.
In this month’s issue of Sea Breezes, we carry an article entitled “From Boulton to Schettino – Down the Slippery Slope” by Captain Peter Murphy, an internationally recognised maritime lawyer. Captain Murphy had a sea-going career spanning over 20 years, taking his Masters Foreign-Going Certificate in London in 1970 before taking up a career in law. I commend the article to you – it is thought-provoking, challenging and sympathetic to the position today’s seafarers find themselves in.
HAMISH ROSS, EDITOR