Goliath Beached At Walmer Kent

Jan Leeming

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Jan's Blog

Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.

GOLIATH - beached at Walmer, Kent

Date: 9th May 2009

I went out yesterday for my (these days) routine walk and had hardly left the flat than I could see something very large and orange peeking over the pebbles of the Walmer Beach.  Something rather large had gone aground almost opposite Walmer Castle.    I took many pictures and could read the name Van Oord so I looked it up on the Internet and saw that it was the name of a company which specialised in Dredgers.  The name of the vessel was Goliath.
The vessel was too small to be a container ship or a tanker yet it had this huge orange crane on it.  I rang a friend in Canterbury who told me that on the Lunchtime news it had been described as a Tanker carrying tons of oil and that if it broke up, our shores would be badly contaminated.  I insisted that it simply wasn't big enough to be a tanker although it was big.

I watched the 7.00 pm news on Channel Four where Jon Snow gave Harriet Harman a 15 minute drubbing over MP's Expenses but there was no mention of the 'Tanker'. Nor was it mentioned on the Late Night Regional News.  And why not?

The truth was less dramatic than the news would have had you believe. It is a 'dredger' carrying  the largest crane in the world called Goliath and ship sprung a leak.  They were refused entry to Dover Harbour in case the thing sank so she was basically beached at Walmer.  Yes she did have oil on board but only the oil used to propel her!  Had she broken up there would have been oil but not the millions of gallons they forecast on the news.  Honestly the news hounds aren't worried about the facts so long as they have a good story. 

However it was quite exciting to see the helicopter dropping men onto the vessel.  Probably the most newsworthy event since Wellington died in Walmer Castle.

They've refloated her and she's gone now.  I'm so glad for all concerned that she didn't break up and glad that the only rubbish I shall continue to see on Walmer beach is that left by the picnickers.  Honestly, they bring the stuff to the beach - have their picnic and then leave their detritus behind.  Surely it wouldn't take much to gather up the remnants, put them in a bag and take them away - it would be a lot lighter than when they arrived.  I wonder if they'd just throw rubbish onto their own sitting room floors - perhaps they would!!!

GOLIATH - beached at Walmer, Kent

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