Harbourmaster Relieved At Lower Olympics Security Level

St Mary's Harbourmaster, Dale Clark

St Mary’s Harbourmaster says he’s relieved that they won’t have to implement a tougher security regime during this year’s Olympics.

This follows the 6-monthly Isles of Scilly Port Security Meeting held yesterday, where Dale Clark told attendees that the harbour will remain at security level 1, the lowest alert level.

It means the existing passenger and freight security procedures will continue.

Only last week, we reported that security is to be tightened at the airport and heliport and Dale said there were fears that harbour security would be raised to level 2 during the summer, resulting in Scillonian III passengers and baggage having extra searches.

Dale said an exercise that was run last year showed this would severely slow down boarding procedures and any prolonged heightening of the security level could have meant having to sail with fewer passengers.

He added the Harbour Team would have struggled to cope with their existing manpower.

However, Dale cautioned that they still have to be prepared in the unlikely event that the security level is raised at short notice over the next few months.

The Port Security Meetings are required by the Government’s Transport Security Department and are attended by representatives from the Harbour Team, the Police, the Council, The Steamship Company and St Mary’s Boatmen’s Association.

Dale said they monitor safety and security issues and are a chance to plan for upcoming events. He said this spring meeting occurs just as the busiest cruise ship season in our Islands’ history is about to start and with the Olympics coming up in the summer.

Dale says it’s still unclear whether the Olympics will have a significant effect on traffic at the harbour. Numbers may be down as people holiday elsewhere, but they could also pick up boats passing from Ireland on their way to ports on the South coast.