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Court action follows tanker’s second accident



oil tankerAN OIL TANKER which ran aground in Milford Haven in 1996 spilling an estimated 73,000 tonnes of crude oil is at the centre of a new controversy, The Herald can reveal.

Following the disaster, the repaired vessel went through the hands of a series of owners only to be scrapped in 2012 – but whilst attempting to dock for scrapping in Bangladesh she was ruptured again, this time by a sunken vessel.

The matter has ended up at Bangladesh’s highest court, and the case is listed for a mention on Tuesday (May 12).

On the evening of 15 February 1996 the Sea Empress was entering the mouth of the Cleddau on her way into Milford Haven to deposit its oil cargo at Texaco refinery. Sailing against the outgoing tide, at 20:07HRS the ship was pushed off its course by the current, and hit rocks in the middle of the channel, which punctured her starboard hull causing oil to pour out into the bay. The total cost of the cleanup operation was approximately £60 million.

The Sea Empress, which was salvaged and repaired, was re-christened MV Sea Spirit. The ship, however, was renamed a further four times. She was later renamed MV Front Spirit, and then renamed again, being sold under the name MV Ocean Opal, to Chinese buyers. They used her as a floating storage and offloading unit from 2004.

In 2010, she was converted in Shanghai into a bulk carrier, and re-flagged as the Panamanian registered MV Welwind. In 2012, she was renamed for a fifth time; MV Wind 3.

On June 3, 2012 the 274-metre long vessel was brought to Chittagong in Bangladesh for dismantling at the Shitakunda ship breaking yard. On the way to the yard, she developed a crack in one side of its engine room following a collision with a sunken ship, Hang Ro Bong, when she was attempting to anchor at the B (Bravo) anchorage of the por t.

The Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) removed the vessel from the outer anchorage of Chittagong port.

Rice-laden Hang Ro Bong capsized in the Bay in a collision with another ship on April 6, 2011

Following allegation of oil spillage from the former Sea Empress vessel, a team led by the CPA Deputy Conservator Captain Najmul Alam on CPA salvage vessel Kandari-10, visited the spot.

At the time Najmul told a local newspaper in Bangladesh, The Daily Star, that they did not found any presence of oil floating on the Bay at the outer anchorage.

The private salvage company, Prantik, took responsibility to salvage the sunken ship. But now Prantik Bengal Salvage is taking legal action against the owner’s of the ship and other parties, and the case continues this week.

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Breaking bread proves costly



A PEMBROKE man who thought it would be funny to destroy a pallet of bread has been given a conditional discharge.

Jack Boyle, aged 18, of Main Street, appeared before Haverfordwest Magistrates Court on Tuesday (Oct 16) to plead guilty to a charge of criminal damage.

Prosecuting, Mr Abul Hussain told the Court: “On August 4, the defendant was on a night out and thought it would be funny to damage a pallet of bread. This happened in the early hours of the morning and he came across the pallet outside the SPAR store in St Clears and thought it was a good idea to pick up the pallet and remove the bread and smash it.

“In his interview he said he thought it was funny to do that.”

Defending, Rebecca Carter said: “Yes he has said that but he is remorseful for his actions and the only reason he did this was because he was intoxicated. It is highly unlikely he will find himself in this position again.”

Before sentencing, Magistrates asked him ‘why did you take it out on a pallet of bread?’ to which he replied saying it was a ‘silly action’.

Boyle was given a conditional discharge for the offence and warned he would be punished for this offence if he was to commit another one in the next 12 months.

As well as that he will have to pay £50.78 in compensation, a £20 victim surcharge and £85 in court costs.

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Tenby raising awareness of Indonesia Tsunami Appeal



A WAVE has swept over Tenby’s North Beach, detailing how to donate to the Indonesia Tsunami Appeal.

‘Sand circles’ artist Marc Treanor designed and created the wave pattern in the sand to raise awareness of the Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) Cymru’s Indonesia Tsunami Appeal, which was launched on October 4 to raise funds for the survivors of the Tsunami.

The Appeal was launched after a powerful earthquake struck the Indonesian island of Sulawesi on September 28 and triggered a tsunami, leaving behind a trail of destruction.

Tens of thousands of homes have been destroyed and entire communities were decimated and cut off from any contact for days. 2,091 people are confirmed dead, more than 5,000 are feared missing and 200,000 survivors are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

So far the Welsh public have raised over £450,000 for the appeal, and DEC Cymru hopes that Marc Treanor’s eye-catching design will help raise more awareness of the appeal and edge Wales over the half a million mark.

Rachel Cable, Chair of DEC Cymru said: “We’re incredibly grateful to Marc Treanor for using his skill and talent to raise awareness of the Indonesia Tsunami Appeal.

“Life doesn’t stop after a natural disaster: babies still get ill, people still need food and water and families need a roof over their heads. With your donations DEC charities are providing essentials like this to survivors in Indonesia, and with more funds we can reach more people.

“The people of Wales have already done amazingly well to raise over £450k – let’s keep going to help as many people as we possibly can. We may be a small nation, but we have a lot of heart.”

To make a donation to the DEC Indonesia Tsunami Appeal visit, call the 24-hour hotline on 0370 60 60 900, donate over the counter at any high street bank or post office, or send a cheque. To donate £5 text HELPU to 70000. Texts cost £5 and the whole £5 goes to the DEC INDONESIA TSUNAMI APPEAL. You must be 16 or over and please ask the bill payer’s permission. For full terms and conditions and more information go to

Stay up to date with developments in Indonesia, the emergency response and the fundraising efforts with the DEC on twitter: or on Facebook via

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Council wants your comments on its Improvement Review



PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL has published its Improvement Review which details the Authority’s performance in 2017 – 2018.

This annual report assesses whether the Council has met the improvement objectives which it set for that year and how it has contributed to the seven national goals in the Well-being of Future Generations Act.

As well as reporting back on actions and performance indicators, the review contains information on spending, work with other local authorities and how citizens can get involved in planning for future service improvements.

Council Leader, Councillor David Simpson said 2017-18 was the year that Pembrokeshire County Council started a process of ‘significant change’.

“Some of this change will take time, but I am confident the momentum is building,” he said.

“As a Cabinet we have developed a Programme for the Administration. This is the first time that the political leadership of this Council has set out its stall and provided clarity and direction. We also have re-launched and re-energised Transformation programme.

“The Council is continuing to make progress on improving school results and the 21st Century school building programme is leading to new or substantially refurbished primary and secondary schools. This investment will create learning environments that are fit for the future.

“We made progress across a broad range of other services including social care, as well as decisions to how waste services will be delivered in future.”

“We balanced the budget in 2017-18, but as we look forward to future years, it is clear that the size of the financial challenge we face is growing. Whilst our transformation programme will play its part in making savings, it is clear that we as a Council face some very hard choices.”

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