Update as of 2018-03-09 15:47
The Sailing Club has received this update from Rhian Pritchard on behalf of Dylan Williams – Head of Regulation and Economic Development, Anglesey County Council.
As you aware, it was agreed during the Multi Agency Strategy Meeting yesterday (Thursday 8th March) that the Control & Co-ordination response will now be led by Port of Holyhead (Stena Line Ports) and the Isle of Anglesey County Council.
The Statutory Organisations involved in this incident will be meeting on Monday 12th March (Incident Control & Co-ordination Group).
Whilst recognising your interest in the ongoing efforts, and eagerness to support, attendance will now be limited to the organisations with a statutory responsibility in the response effort.
The statutory organisations will consider and agree on appropriate arrangements to keep you and other interested parties informed of progress.
We understand that currently there are divers at the marina but they are waiting for formal permission to commence operations for clearing the wreckage. We further understand that the timescales now intend for the wreckage to be cleared during the course of next week; of course this is weather dependent. They now have on site air bags and compressors in preparation for lifting the sunken vessels.
Update Report on meeting with local MP on Friday 8 March
Both Nigel Dennis and Mark Rosenthal had arranged separate meetings with Albert Owen (MP) to discuss the future of Holyhead Harbour and the facilities required to suit the diverse economy of the marine dependent industries, both leisure and commercial. It was felt that there was a need for a coordinated approach, involving all the stakeholders, to ensure the best possible outcome for all involved. Albert Owen has agreed to work with our AM, Rhun Ap Iorwerth, in getting all the stakeholders to come together although he did express reservations about initiating these discussions at this early stage.
Earlier update am 2018-03-09
For those wanting to help in clearup operations outside the harbour area here is another message from ACC Waste Management. With thanks to Friends Of Anglesey Coastal Path for the information. This is important to help ensure that all the waste is bagged properly:
Grid Ref: SH302761 Sat Nav: N 53°15'19” W 4°32'50"
Directions: From Junction 3 on the A55, follow the road to Caergeiliog then first right at toll house; keep straight on, over the railway bridge to the end of the lane. Park at 'Fraggle Rock'.
Update as of 2018-03-08
We have been asked to display this message on our social media and website:
An Anglesey County Council spokesperson said:
"We are currently working with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and other partner organisations, including the marina company and port owners Stena.
We would urge members of the public to follow MCA advice issued over the weekend and leave the clear-up operations to the experts as there could potentially be some unsafe debris and material in the area"
As you will be aware there has been a carnage of our racing fleet in the destruction of Holyhead Marina by Storm Emma. Saturday 3rd March saw a lot of activity with a fantastic group of volunteers helping to start the process of a massive cleanup.
On Saturday evening there was a meeting arranged by Holyhead Sailing Club, held in the Marina Cafe. The Harbour Master, Kevin Riley from Stena Line Ports Ltd. addressed the meeting and outlined the situation from Stena's perspective. His key points were that it was the responsibility of the Marina's insurance assessor to place contracts for the salvage operation and that, although they were very grateful to those who turned up to help, they along with HM Coastguard had reservations about allowing people to participate in the cleanup operation due to Health and Safety concerns. He further stated that the yacht owners who had lost their boats would have to wait for the outcome of the plans by the marina and their insurers before the any clearance of the sunken or beached yachts could take place.
He outlined that their concernswere around the fuel pollution problem with so many boats being sunk or wrecked with fuel onboard. At this point the question of the serious environmental damage resulting from the breakup of the floatation material, expanded polystyrene, which is now covering a substantial area of Porth Y Felin. When questioned on this point it was clear that many people felt very strongly on the issue of being able to assist with this major clear-up operation to ensure that as little of the expanded polystyrene floatation panels from the marina pontoons went into the sea risking significant dangers to the aquatic life in the seas around Holyhead and the wider areas.
Mr Riley confirmed that a planning meeting had been held that day to consider the recovery of the sunken and beached vessels, but again this was stressed to be subject to the arrangements made by Holyhead Marina's Insurance assessor which was unlikely to be until Monday 5th March. An emergency planning meeting with representatives from the Port Authority, the Coastguard, Natural Resources Wales will be held as soon as possible to discuss the outline plans. Mr Riley asked Mr G Garrod for confirmation of timelines but Mr Garrod was not able to give any dates, however he confirmed that the marina would be talking to their insurers early on Monday to progress their plans for the salvage operation and some sort of timeframe which they will then notify to the affected owners.
The sunken and damaged vessels will be lifted onto the breakwater at Soldiers Point.There were concerns from the floor of the meeting over the looting of items from the salvaged yachts and it was stated that Security was again the responsibility of the Marina's Insurers through the contract with the salvage company.
The Harbour Authority again outlined their concerns over safe working within the Port area. They are keen to see a coordinated effort where a single contractor is responsible for the clearance of Porth Y Felin and the marina area.
A Listing of sunken boats being collated by the marina but Mr Garrod was not willing to report on the actual numbers of boats lost. It would not be possible to carry out more reconnaissance until the winds die down and veer to the south or south west. Currently it would be too dangerous to allow the salvage diving teams and their support craft to enter the area due to the unknown navigation hazards.
Mr Garrod confirmed that they had approached the company who will be responsible for the placement of boom to stop the debris from the disintegrating pontoons. Again no date for this installation was available as this too would be subject to the decisions of their insurers. A number of comments from the floor of the meeting showed concern over the escape of the millions of plastic beads which currently are held in the Porth Y Felin area with the easterly winds.
Specific questions were raised from the floor with regard to the recovery of Espresso Martini and Misanda. These two vessels are currently salvageable but there are significant issues relating to the methods required to re-float these boats. Again it was stated that the works must not be carried out except by the one company given the contract for the clearance.
A question from the floor of the meeting asked what information will boat owners have once the plans are in place. Mr Garrod stated that individual owners will get notification of the proposed dates for the lifting of their boats.
A request from the floor to know who was coordinating the offers of aid from the local community; was it to be the marina or the sailing club or some other body. The Town Hall was offered as a venue for a meeting and it was stressed that many people from Holyhead were willing to donate and to volunteer with whatever was necessary to restore the area and support those whose livelihood has been compromised.