Letter: Bad decisions on the 'Braer'

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The Independent Online
Sir: The Braer's captain asked to be put back on board two hours after he had abandoned the ship. It now appears that he requested the airlift prematurely, since there was a chance of being pulled to safety by the Star Sirius. The

captain was, though, hardly in the position to make an accurate judgement.

The coastguard rescue services were. They should have been

allowed to weigh the potential loss of three lives on board (with hindsight, unlikely) against the almost certain loss of livelihood of all

the people employed in fishing, salmon farming and the holiday industry along the destroyed coast. For the sake of three sailors' safety, a whole community of people, animals, birds and fish was abandoned.

But nobody can really blame the coastguard. They are obliged to put immediately threatened human life first, at all costs. In that, they have certainly succeeded.

Yours faithfully,


Ashwell, Hertfordshire

6 January