• Short Summary

    The British warship H.M.S. Brighton --- one of three sent to protect British trawlers during?

  • Description

    SV Waters breaking over bows over frigate H.M.S Brighton.

    SV Officers and men on bridge. (2 shots)

    CU Guns being fired in exercise.

    CU & SV Helicopter pilot climbing into helicopter and helicopter taking off.(2 shots)

    LV PAN Nimrod aircraft flying over.

    CU & SV Radar plotters in frigate operations room. (4 shots)

    GV Icelandic gunboat's lights at night. (2 shots)

    LV Gun-boat illuminated by Brighton's searchlight. (4 shots)

    AV Frigate running alongside British trawler.

    SV & LV Trawlers fishing.(4 shots)

    There have been new clashes in the latest "Cod War" between Iceland and Britain. Iceland has strengthened its fleet of patrol boats in action against British trawlers operating with in its 200-mile limit.

    On Saturday, the British frigate, Brighton, one of three protecting British trawlers, confronted the Icelandic gun-boat Odiin. Clifford Luton reports:-

    "For the navy crew, this patrol means three weeks of conditions like this. They hope to be home by Christmas.

    "On the way to the fishing grounds the guns are exercised. No-one intends to turn this into a shooting war....but training must be done. Extra pilots on the frigates insure full use of helicopters through the shot Arctic day. Now Iceland's sports are closed, these aircraft can being sick and injured fishermen back for treatment by naval surgeons.

    "Nimrod reconnaissance planes fly from Britain to shadow Iceland's gun-boats. This plane spotted the gun-boat Odiin hiding in a ford last week. H.M.S. Brighton waited for darkness before moving in.

    "Commander Nick Kettlewell know that Odiin was after a trawler. In the frigate's operations room our radar plot revealed the gun-boat steaming cautiously out towards our navigation light. Brighton's speed slackened to that of a trawler trying to escape. Odiin, reassured, left the safety of the 12-mile limit. At once the frigate ruined hard to port. Her twenty-inch searchlight lit up the gun-boat, warning every trawler for miles. This film is taken with an electronics night-sight. At this stage there was guarded friendliness between gun-boat skipper and frigate captain...but as it became obvious that Brighton intended to mark the gun-boat's position throughout the night, relations became frosty. While this was happening the gun-boat Aegir was successfully harassing trawlers 40 miles south.

    "The problem for the frigates is that the protecting "boxes" inside which the trawlers fish are one hundred miles long and 50 across. The gun-boats prowl just outside the "boxes", waiting their chance. Iceland's government hopes that with the enormous expense of the present "Cod War" Britain will give way. The British government hopes Iceland will do the same. Meanwhile, watched by warships (indistinct) aircraft the fishermen just go on trying to catch fish."

    Initials VS 19.10 VS 19.30

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: The British warship H.M.S. Brighton --- one of three sent to protect British trawlers during the "Cod War" --- has adopted new tactics in the fishing dispute with Iceland.

    The frigate is taking on much more of an active role than its former one of protection. Until now, it has been the Icelandic patrol boats which have gone after British trawlers, trying to cut their trawl wires when they operate inside Iceland's unilaterally-declared 200-mile (320 kilometre) limit. Britain does not recognise the limit.

    Two incidents on Saturday (6 December) changed this.

    On the first occasion, Brighton, under Commander Nick kettlewell, pretended to be an escaping British trawler. Under the cover of darkness, the frigate lured the Icelandic gun-boat, Odiin, out of the safety of the 12-mile (19.3 kilometre) limit then turned its twenty-inch searching onto the gun-boat. This lit the boat up, warning every trawler for miles.

    On the second occasion, Brighton attempted to slash the trawl-cutting gear of the patrol boat, thor. The new scheme -- involving a high-speed chase among fishing vessels - was unsuccessful but served to distract\Thor from harassing more of the British fishing fleet.

    The fishing dispute has worsened relations between the two countries but Iceland is not expected to break off ties with London over the issue....at least not for the time being.

    This film is serviced with an English commentary by BBC reporter Clifford Luton from onboard the Brighton. A transcript appears overleaf.

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    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Issue Date:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
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