Blog Feeds

Spirit of Contradiction

offsite link The Party and the Ballot Box Sun Jul 14, 2019 22:24 | Gavin Mendel-Gleason

offsite link On The Decline and Fall of The American Empire and Socialism Sat Jan 26, 2019 01:52 | S. Duncan

offsite link What is Dogmatism and Why Does It Matter? Wed Mar 21, 2018 08:10 | Sylvia Smith

offsite link The Case of Comrade Dallas Mon Mar 19, 2018 19:44 | Sylvia Smith

offsite link Review: Do Religions Evolve? Mon Aug 14, 2017 19:54 | Dara McHugh

Spirit of Contradiction >>

Dublin Opinion
Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting

offsite link Some Thoughts on the Brexit Joint Report 11:50 Sat Dec 09, 2017

offsite link IRISH COMMONWEALTH: TRADE UNIONS AND CIVIL SOCIETY IN THE 21ST CENTURY 14:06 Sat Nov 18, 2017

offsite link Notes for a Book on Money and the Irish State - The Marshall Aid Program 15:10 Sat Apr 02, 2016

offsite link The Financial Crisis:What Have We Learnt? 19:58 Sat Aug 29, 2015

offsite link Money in 35,000 Words or Less 21:34 Sat Aug 22, 2015

Dublin Opinion >>

NAMA Wine Lake

offsite link Test ? 12 November 2018 Mon Nov 12, 2018 14:28 | namawinelake

offsite link Farewell from NWL Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake

offsite link Happy 70th Birthday, Michael Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake

offsite link Of the Week? Sat May 18, 2013 00:02 | namawinelake

offsite link Noonan denies IBRC legal fees loan approval to Paddy McKillen was in breach of E... Fri May 17, 2013 14:23 | namawinelake

NAMA Wine Lake >>

Cold War Undersea Menace Returns to Haunt Fishermen

category international | anti-war / imperialism | press release author Tuesday March 24, 2015 21:23author by Bernard Moffatt - The Celtic League Report this post to the editors

Submarine snags Trawlers net

A scenario that was thought to have ended with the Cold War seems set to return with vulnerable fishing communities in the front line.

NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE

COLD WAR UNDERSEA MENACE RETURNS TO HAUNT FISHERMEN

Just two months after we speculated that increased tension between NATO and the Russian Federation could lead to deadly undersea activities which would pose a renewed threat to fishermen the first incident appears to have occurred.

Last week the Scottish trawler Aquarius appears to have been snagged by a submarine 10 miles off Lewis. The snagged gear only seems to have parted when the undersea object caused part of the fishing boats nets to come into contact with the vessels propeller (see reports here):

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-31999657

http://www.scotsman.com/news/transport/scottish-trawler...24842

During the Cold War when NATO and the Warsaw Pact the waters around the Celtic countries became a ‘jousting ground’ for the submarines and associated auxiliaries of the opposing powers. There were many serious incidents including the mysterious losses of up to 30 fishing trawlers (MFVs). In only two sinkings (that of the MFV Sheralga in 1982 and the MFV Antares in 1990 was direct submarine involvement proven, in both instances it involved Royal Navy submarines. The crew of the Sheralga survived but the Antares crew were not so lucky, all drowned.

As a consequence of these incidents and many other snaggings of MFVs the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) under pressure from governments such as the Irish and NGOs like the Celtic League eventually adopted binding resolutions to safeguard fishermen in areas where submarines were operational.

In January on the anniversary of the loss of the Breton trawler Bugaled Breizh (thought to have been accidentally sunk during a NATO exercise) we wrote to all submarine operating powers asking what steps they have taken to implement the IMO rules. To date only the German government has responded positively (see links):

https://www.celticleague.net/news/german-assurance-of-s...code/

https://www.celticleague.net/news/submarine-threat-to-f...nged/

Be under no illusion there is no contest when a Motor Fishing Vessel (MFV) is entangled by a submarine. The MFV may have several hundred metres of cable and a large fishing net deployed.

For its part the submarine maybe using a towed array communications system (SURTASS) which extends up to half a mile behind the submerged vessel.

Once the two collide it is no contest the MFV may by 100-150 tonnes the submarine between 4500 and 8500. A ballistic missile submarine such as those used by the United States, Russia, France and the United Kingdom has the same displacement as a Light Cruiser in WW 2.

Separation zones and regulation for separation laid down by the IMO puts the emphasis on the submarine to avoid the trawler but as far as we can elicit only the German Navy have training on these regulations as part of their standard training for submariners.

Nor is their any degree of openness when an accident occurs. In the Aquarius incident last week the Royal Navy said that “there were no UK or NATO submarines in the area at the time”.

However that is exactly what they said initially after the MFV Sheralga incident in 1982 and only retracted it after the Celtic League revealed that the submarine involved (HMS Porpoise) had been photographed off the west coast of the Isle of Man by a League member (the late Deirdre Moffatt) just hours before the Irish trawler was sunk.

The photo, one of a series taken at the time was published subsequently in Carn Summer 1982 Page 23 (link):

http://www.celticleague.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/...2.pdf

Despite the headline after the latest incident that a Russian submarine was the culprit there is no way of saying definitely that it was the case. With a major exercise involving ships, submarines and aircraft underway this week it is more than likely that a NATO submarine was involved (link).

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-to-lead-major-mil...tland

After all when the NATO shipping inventory for the exercise held when the crew of the Bugaled Breizh perished (in 2004) up to seven submarines from the UK, France, Germany and the Netherlands were involved.

What is clear is that a problem we thought had ended almost two decades ago seems set to reoccur. Perhaps the Celtic League needs to consider reactivating its military monitoring campaign which ran from 1976 – 1996.

Footnote:

In the late 1980s many TDs and MPs supported the Celtic League campaigns for tough international action by this time the Celtic League had built up a dossier of between 20-30 suspicious sinkings and over 140 incidents and accidents involving snaggings and collisions.

One of our most energised supporters was Hugh Byrne TD and these are reports from the Oireachtas where he both raises the issue giving examples and highlights the role of the Celtic League:

http://oireachtasdebates.oireachtas.ie/debates%20author...ay=07

http://debates.oireachtas.ie/seanad/1990/12/05/00008.asp

http://debates.oireachtas.ie/dail/1984/02/09/00015.asp

J B Moffatt (Mr)

Director of Information
Celtic League

24/03/15

(Please note that replies to correspondence received by the League and posted on CL News are usually scanned hard copies. Obviously every effort is made to ensure the scanning process is accurate but sometimes errors do occur.)

ISSUED BY THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE.

The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues

Internet site at:

http://celticleague.net
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_league/

author by fredpublication date Wed Mar 25, 2015 06:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

timely and informative post. And you didn't just blame the russians for everything
like our useless captive media either so kudos for that too.

I hope this renewed cold war insanity does not continue in the direction it is going or it won't just be the trawlers
that will have top worry about annihilation at the hands of nuclear submarines!!

 
© 2001-2019 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy