Evidence of Brian Fountain, harbour master


P You have been harbour master at Shoreham since 1995 and were at sea for many years before that?

BF Yes.

P There are locks to keep the water level up within the harbour?

BF Yes.

P Euromin's wharf is outside the lock gates and so it is tidal?

BF Yes

P What is the status of Euromin's land?

BF It is privately owned. My jurisdiction only covers comings and goings and dangerous cargo.

P You had no responsibility for safety measures at Euromin?

BF No.

P You were informed of ship's arrivals by fax with 24 hours notice?

BF Yes from the ship's agent.

P Did you get a fax about the arrival of the Cambrook?

BF Yes at 9.53 am on Thursday 23 rd April.

P The fax informs you as to the nature of the cargo?

BF Yes in this case it was slag and rumble stones.

PO Did the fax tell you the amount of cargo?

BF No.

P Did it inform you of the estimated time of arrival and sailing time?

BF ETA yes, sailing time no.

P Was the ETA 2.30 am?

BF Yes.

P Was it unusual for a ship to arrive late?

BF No.

P Would you expect a radio message from the ship's captain?

BF Yes.

P Would a pilot be sent out?

BF - Some ships are exempt but if it is more than 50 metres long a pilot is compulsory.

P Were you on duty at 8.30 am on the 24 th of April?

BF Yes but not before 8.30 am. The port is open 24 hours a day and pilots are always available.

P The Cambrook left at 8 pm?

BF Yes.

P Did it go regularly between Flushing and Shoreham?

BF Yes, mainly.

P The Cambrook had a flat bottom. Was this a serious problem?

BF No. This meant that the Cambrook can take the bottom. In fact all vessels using Turbeville and Penny's wharf must be able to take the bottom. The vessels are called NAABSA, which stands for Not always afloat but safe aground.