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Good evening from Spotlight. so it's goodbye from me
The future of RMB Chivenor, tonight the defence secretary offers
It's not a done deal. We want to give everybody time to discuss the
future of the site with the local community. And come up with the best
answer for the Royal Marines and the best answer for Chivenor.
First plans to close the base were announced
now with a potential lifeline we'll ask where it leaves the base
50 years ago tomorrow every drop of crude oil on the Torrey Canyon
We'll hear about the wildlife which has only recently fully recovered.
And we'll see how the moments leading up to the disaster
Plus, goodbye to the sky, the long history of Lynx helicopters
in the South West draws to a close in style.
And this is where the jet stream will live this weekend. It means
unsettled weather. I will give you the details.
There are calls for clarity tonight after the Defence Secretary raised
the prospect that the Royal Marine base in North Devon may
The MOD had previously announced it was destined for closure.
While Michael Fallon's suggestion that the move to shut Chivenor
was not "a done deal" raises hopes for North Devon the future
Kirk England spoke to the defence secretary
At Chivenor today Michael Fallon saw first hand what it's
like to save a life on the battlefield.
At the same time, the future of the place itself
Speaking four months ago it looks like a closure was inevitable.
We are getting out of some of the more rural locations,
We want to give everybody a time to explore the various
options for these sites, and Chivenor is a very large site.
The airfield is no longer used, for example, to discuss
the future of the site, with the local community and come up
with the best answer for the Royal Marines and the best
So no done deal on the closure of the base in Chivenor.
I'm very pleased that he said what he said today about what's
happening, a second chance, if you like.
Michael Fallon made clear the intention is that the Royal
Marines will consolidate in Plymouth, but around
that it seems to me there's a lot of options.
For him not to have ruled out the future use of RMB
Chivenor as a military site is a big step forward.
Business leaders want more clarity on what happens
next for a base that, according to the local
Liberal Democrats, generates ?40 million a year
If it's not a done deal, then obviously, we need to find out
more about what could possibly happen, because if they are going
to retain part of it, then that could be good.
And then look at development for the rest of it.
If it's all going to move to Plymouth, then we need to look
And its the big site, with 1200 military personnel
There's been strong campaigning to keep the base open,
but some say a closure is still on the cards.
I think the secretary of state was making as positive as organised
as he could about working with the local community,
but at the end of the day he's got to deliver the maximum capital
receipt to the public purse, that, I there, were probably
Done deal or not, a decision on the future of this base
Kirk England, BBC Spotlight, Chivenor.
Onto some of the day's other stories.
Somerset County Council is to sue Carillion,
the main contractor building a relief road for Taunton
The two sides are blaming each other for the delays and cost overruns
understood to run to more than ?10 million.
There is still no date set for the opening of the road.
Carillion says it's working with the council to reach a mutually
satisfactory conclusion to their differences.
Western Power Distribution says work to restore electricity to Scilly
has been delayed again because of poor weather.
The company said cable experts have been working to assess the damage
to the power supply since Monday, but the weather forecast has forced
They are hoping to get back to work on Tuesday.
The 2,000 islanders have been relying on generators
Eight new beaches including Tregonhawke in Whitsand Bay
are being put forward for special bathing water status.
Water samples would need to be taken and tested on a regular basis
81 beaches around Cornwall are currently monitored.
It was the day we changed our whole attitude to marine life and almost
exactly 50 years on some creatures have only just fully recovered
The super tanker hit rocks off Cornwall leaving beaches around
Thousands of seabirds died and livelihoods were damaged
in what remains the country's worst environmental disaster.
In a moment we'll look at the lasting impact
of the Torrey Canyon but first on the eve of the 50th
anniversary of the accident Eleanor Parkinson looks back.
Impaled on a reef, seven miles north of Scilly,
the supertanker the Torrey Canyon lies broken, oil pouring from
She's carrying 120,000 tonnes of crude oil.
The oil slick expands, eventually stretching
across 270 square miles, as it creeps towards the Cornish
coast a massive operation begins to save beaches and wildlife.
The army, the RAF, and the Navy are involved along
Among them, fire officers Eric Trout and John Allen.
John recorded the event as an official photographer,
today they recalling the horrors of what they found.
You got your feet on it, and you slid all over the place.
It was like having a bath, when you leave the scum around the bath.
That's what it was like, all around the basins, the cliffs,
Over the next few days tens of thousands of tonnes of detergent
was sprayed over the beaches to try and break up the oil.
The main role of the Fire Service was setting pumps in and washing
down after the detergent had been applied.
There's been criticism of the detergent, because one
realised that caused problems in itself, doesn't it?
What I did here in the end, it would have been better to have
Because the organisms in the sand would have eaten it faster
than what we did by killing off the organisms by
It was an environmental catastrophe, 15,000 sea birds died
It was terrible to see these birds flapping around,
Trying to get out of the oil, and they couldn't.
In fact, my friend here was saying earlier, the word filling barrels up
It's not the kind of thing people want to see.
A week after she was grounded the Torrey Canyon began to break up,
releasing even more ideal into the sea.
The decision was taken to destroy the vessel,
for two whole days the RAF under Navy bombed the ship,
they also dropped napalm to try and burn off oil.
And, occasionally, you could smell the smoke
The Torrey Canyon eventually sank leaving behind a legacy that would
last for many years. Part of that legacy
is the lessons learned. The disaster led to the creation
of new maritime regulations on pollution and changes
to the construction of tankers. Our Environment Correspondent Adrian
Campbell reports on the impact. These crabs are gorgeous. You can
see their little claws, they are read. Do you think the population is
growing? Richard is a biologist who has been
managing marine life in Cornwall for 50 years. He is delighted to see
this clap is finally making a comeback.
Many thought it was last altogether after oil from the Torrey Canyon in
Gulf this beach near Padstow and toxic detergent made things even
worse. We found that this beach was
completely bare. Almost everything on it had been killed. Not because
of the oil, but because of the detergent. Within four or five years
it was stable again. It wasn't exactly the same as before, we can't
tell, because we didn't know. One thing we do know is that the
Torrey Canyon ended up of course. Here in Plymouth captain Richard
Phillips uses the latest technology to recreate the moments leading up
to the disaster. We are heading north at the moment.
The Isles of Scilly are over there, the Cornish coast is about 40 miles
over there. We are heading up in the gap between them.
Back in 1967 they weren't fancy graphics and computers like this
available to the captains of oil tankers. The captain of the Torrey
Canyon thought he was coming into the north of the Isles of Scilly,
but he was down here, so he did deliberately decided to coming
through here. He went straight across.
You've got 50 metres of water and sand.
It's almost perpendicular. There isn't really anything to see, is
there? It's just rocks. No. It's going down quite quickly, Liz and
it? We've run aground. These days there are very few big pollution
incidents at sea, partly because of design changes. The Torrey Canyon
was one of the largest oil tankers of its day, with a standard single
skin Halley drizzly pierced by submerged rocks around the Isles of
Scilly. As a result there was agreement that all new tankers would
have double skinned pals making them more robust. There has also been in
significant shift in attitudes. The Torrey Canyon was one of the
first stages which started bad roads to environmental awareness. It's not
just about nature, it's our interaction and the benefits we get
from a clean environment. There is a positive, or for the past 15 years
here the wildlife and habitats have recovered. Things are looking good.
Adrian Campbell, BBC Spotlight, Padstow.
With bombs used try to sink the tanker and burn off
the remaining oil, events of 50 years ago tomorrow could hardly
I'm joined now by one man who remembers it well,
Good evening, you were one of the people ordered to drop
1,000lb bombs on the stricken tanker?
Yes, very pleased to be able to have. I'm quite sure it was a great
help. We came in on the morning of the 28th, ten days after the tanker
had gone aground. They were moving thousand pound bombs out there. This
is your logbook. Just pointers... You can see it, can't you? Somewhere
down here, it says bombing be Torrey Canyon. Right at the bottom of the
page. Then I went out on the 29th is doing the same thing. It must be
tricky, that smoke would be rising from the burning oil. There was a
lot of smoke around, but we must remember that once we had set the
thing on fire, because all of the bottom had been ripped out,
naturally, what happened was the tide would come in and put out the
fire. So down would go the tide again, and back we would go and bomb
again. Then the smoke would start. Smoke was one of the interesting
things. I was stationed in the far north of Scotland, and flying south
after we cross the Scottish border we could see this great plume of
black smoke coming up, 200, 250 miles away. The smoke was going up
to about 30,000 feet. It was a perfect spring day, absolutely clear
with hardly wind at all. Did you ever expect this is what you
would do in your career? Certainly in wartime one would consider
something like that, but not in this case, where one was hoping a
community and is trying to save the disaster that all this oil was
causing. It's difficult because some of the
bombs would have missed their target. Those days we bombed
differently, and some didn't explode, is that right?
I don't understand the word missed, of course, we didn't do anything
like that! But the technology we had at that stage, you could put a bomb
down within about 100 feet of where you really wanted to be. But if you
dropped for you could get a struggle.
A fighting chance. Was it the right action? There is no doubt in my mind
it was. They looked at how they could actually get rid of the oil,
could they bring in a smaller tanker alongside it and promptly idle
across, but I'm afraid but was just too hard, and it was too shallow.
They had tried all of the detergent is type of thing, but they couldn't
deal with this treacle like oil that they had. We had to get rid of that
from the ship itself, and the only way of doing that is to get
something down inside each and every tank. They were 16 tanks and we had
to get ?1000 bombs into each and every tank. That bomb generated
enough feat in itself to be able to set fire to the oil that was in
there. We know it's changed our view of
marine life, and obviously has a lasting impact on your life as well.
Thank you very much for joining us tonight.
It's time for the sport now and you wait all year for a final
What a busy weekend we've got coming up are you tired
On the last day of the Cheltenham Festival, Devon jockey Bryony Frost
was all smiles as she celebrated the biggest win of her
career holding on to win the Foxhunters Chase in a tight
The 21-year-old from Buckfastleigh was on Pacha du Polder
which was the horse ridden by Olympic cyclist Victoria
Pendleton last year in what's seen as the amateur's Gold Cup.
Bryony was cheered on to victory by her Grand National winning father
Jimmy Frost who nearly completed the course himself, on foot.
In the biggest race of the day, Lizzie Kelly's bid to become
the first female jockey to finish the Cheltenham Gold Cup
The 23-year-old who's based in north Devon,
seen here in orange, was unseated from Tea
for Two at the second fence to end her dream of making history.
Somerset trainer Colin Tizzard had better luck.
Despite seeing one of his two horses fall at the third to last,
his other, Native River, finished the race in third.
Exeter Chiefs' winger Jack Nowell has had to settle
for a place on the bench for England's Six Nations Grand Slam
And there'll be more drama on Sunday when the south west takes
The Chiefs are in their third consecutive Anglo-Welsh Cup
final against the Tigers and the Plymouth Raiders face
the Riders in basketball's BBL Trophy final.
When you're a 6ft 7" basketball player, Sandy Park is a good place
to find someone you can talk to eye to eye, about the
I'm from Sydney Australia. I'm from Detroit, Michigan. And I'll be
playing against Leicester Tigers in the Anglo Welsh cup. I'll be playing
for the Plymouth Raiders against the Leicester Tigers. What's going on,
man? It's a crazy place. It's pretty cool. With the final coming up with
pretty excited. Likewise, man.
Will your boys be nervous? You know how it is, big game but we are ready
for it. How have they been going this season? Leicester? They've been
pretty good. Top of the table right now. We took it into overtime. An
awesome game on Sunday? Yeah, you've got Leicester to? Yeah, the boys are
pretty excited. A tough match. Everyone is pumped. We're looking
forward to it. Nervous but excited. How are you mentally preparing for
it yourself? I take it easy, to be honest. All systems go, hopefully.
Absolutely, man. When you were in New Zealand did you get a chance to
play? Lets see what I've got, man. All right. You've been practising!
On the other side. No, no, let's see what you got with this. Let me see
you move. I'll! And don't forget you can
watch the basketball live on the BBC website -
tip off is at half Looking back at the rugby
and our Championship teams are both in action on Saturday but the big
match is obviously that cup final If you can't get there don't worry,
Radio Devon will have all the build up and full match
commentary from 2:30. Plymouth Argyle can move a step
closer to automatic promotion to League One when they welcome
Morecambe to Home Park tomorrow. With just nine games left
the Pilgrims are ten points clear Exeter City and Luton Town are two
of teams in that chasing pack and they face each
other in Bedfordshire. Yeovil host Accrington
in the other game in League Two. And before I go, just a quick update
on 13-year-old Siam Juntakeret, from Bodmin, who's trying to become
the fastest child to cycle almost He's nearly half way
there as he starts his third week and about to hit the hardest part
of the challenge, We're hoping to speak to him soon
to see how he's doing. They have been flying the skies
of the South West for decades but today the Royal Navy's Lynx
helicopters began saying goodbye. They were based on Portland
in Dorset before moving to Yeovilton Today the aircraft, which saw action
in the Falklands in both Gulf Wars, retraced their history flying
between some of their former bases before they're decommissioned
at the end of the month. Laurence Herdman
watched from Portland. Airborne for one final time, a
diamond formation matching a polished history. Everything
meticulous, just as it always has been. To Portland, than a hop to
Hampshire. The joy of this aircraft, it does a little bit of everything.
Load lifting, winching, it's got weaponry, anti-submarine weapons,
anti surface weapons. It's PIE in the sky, search and rescue, troop
movement. It's one of the fastest helicopters in the world, it's very,
very capable. It's so manoeuvrable. Every responses fell to do the
aircraft. It manoeuvres just how you wanted
to. Defence cuts in the 90s prompted a move to Yeovil town in Somerset,
away from Portland, but the Lynx response remained undeterred. From
the waters of the South Atlantic to the sands of the Persian Gulf, the
Lynx has flown its colours in three modern-day wars, for many bringing
memories flooding back including one useful person. It seemed everyone
wanted to stray the milestone. Most had a story to tell. Some of
the memories I've got our fun memories. Fun memories. Of working
with the boys, the aircrew, and it was brilliant.
It really was good. It's a wonderful helicopter that served the country
for 41 years. You have to say farewell to it. It's so sad we don't
have anything to replace it. It's a special day. Portland is only a
station with a family atmosphere anyway because of its heritage with
the wasp. There was always that community. But small is station.
This high-speed multirole here to helicopter rose to all its
challenges. It made the goodbye to be Lynx from Portland, but exciting
new adventures beckon. And still some signs of those Lynx
helicopters on Portland. The end of any row. Some grey skies there, but
David, a gorgeous sunrise behind you? Is it getting better?
You are so optimistic! No, it's not. Hello, good evening. This was this
morning in Dorset. A glorious sunrise in Dorset. Some nice blue
skies in Lyme Regis. Actually, it's worked out quite well, a decent bit
of sunshine. These guys have been greyer further west. In court while
these cloud arrived swiftly. That's what's going to happen this weekend.
The cloud sticks with us. Limited blues guys. Not much opportunity for
sunrises or sunsets. Cloudy, breezy, rain at times. Some of the rain
heavy tomorrow morning. It will ease away. Dried on Sunday. A great train
of cloud stretches from us right across the Atlantic as far as the
eastern seaboard of the United States, and its of cloud that is
being steered towards us over the weekend. A couple of weather fronts
trickle in and out across the United Kingdom, sometimes Kingdom,
sometimes north, sometimes sounds, all the while keeping as cloudy.
Eventually, this weather front will clear the south coast. How quickly
that happens on Monday is uncertain. Behind it, from the north-west, is
colder air. Mild air and fake cover of cloud across the South West of
England. It's starting to introduce outbreaks of rain. This was Central
Park where our cameraman was trying to catch a glimpse up towards
Plymouth Sound. If you hold in that cloud but it's become quite
extensive. If you find spots of drizzle arriving in this part of
Devon. At least the fly are about, and a bit of moisture want to the
farms all farmers any harm at all. It is going to be breezy, westerly
winds. Some more persistent rain at times overnight and do tomorrow. It
will be mild, temperature of overnight between eight and 10
degrees. Tomorrow, an overcast day, outbreaks of rain, the rain begins
to move away in the afternoon. Drier conditions in the second half of the
day. Westerly winds, temperatures shouldn't fall below ten or 11
degrees. Around Torbay, quite across the Somerset levels being quite mild
despite the rain and wind. That's the forecast for the Isles of
Scilly. It may brighten up a little bit, windy with she was in the
morning, brighter still the afternoon. There's times of high
water along the south coast, 749 and 2009. And for servers, earlier this
week we had some lovely serve, now the winds are strong, limited
opportunities for anything clean. Most of the beaches along the north
coast will be messy, big waves, between six and eight feet. Here is
the coastal waters forecast: Outlook is little change. Sunday, the cloud
not quite so dark, still a lot of cloud for much of the weekend. Winds
aren't quite so strong on Sunday. Then Matt weather front I talked
about on Monday will arrive in the morning, more persistent and
widespread rain, that will go through at some point later in the
day and introduces colder air. Next week it's somewhat fresher. But also
brighter. Have a nice weekend. We'll cling on to what hope we can.
We are back as part of the News At Ten. Join Us Then. Be good goodbye.
It was the most beautiful view I've ever been through.
For one second, I was swimming on my back, and I was looking to the sky.
I was swimming across the Aegean Sea.
I was a refugee, going from Syria to Germany.
This is my life, my career! I did not frame him.
This is my life, my career! I did not frame him.