SAFETY ACTION REQUIRED FOR UK GOVERNMENT’S UNEXPLODED BOMBS

SNP South Scotland MSP Emma Harper has raised a motion in the Scottish Parliament to commend the Stranraer Coast Guard and Royal Navy Bomb Disposal Team on their continued work in dealing with increasing incidences of unexploded ordnance washed ashore Dumfries and Galloway beaches and coastal areas, and for their dedicated work in ensuring public safety.

However, the South Scotland MSP has also called on the UK Government to disclose whether it routinely checks the safety of Beaufort’s Dyke – a World War 2 munitions and radioactive dump site off the coast of D&G. Ms Harper has said that the UK Government must disclose whether the safety of this site, and its surrounding area, is regularly checked and that it is in the interests of her constituents across D&G for Beaufort’s Dyke to be properly risk assessed, particularly given the danger unexploded ordnance present to public safety.

Ms Harper has also encouraged beach and coastal area users to familiarise themselves with the unexploded ordnance guide which has been produced by the Coast Guard.

Commenting, Ms Harper said:

“Over recent years, we have seen a worrying increase in unexploded ordnance washing ashore our region’s beaches and coastal areas. Just last week, the Coast Guard and Royal Navy dealt with an unexploded torpedo in Wigtownshire, and in April, a fishing boat caught a torpedo in its net.

“These items – mainly World War 2 torpedoes – present a very real risk to my constituents and swift action must be taken in the interests of health and safety.

“I am concerned that many of these munitions are coming from in and around Beaufort’s Dyke, a World War 2 munitions and radioactive dump site off the coast of D&G. I am therefore calling on the UK Government to disclose whether the safety of this site is regularly checked and for a proper risk assessment to be carried out. This would allow for safety action to be taken if necessary, and for the reassurance of constituents across my region, as well as those who visit.

“I will keep constituents updated on the response I receive from the UK Government which I hope will be urgent to reflect the seriousness of the issue.”