Haiti flotilla withdrawn weeks before disaster...

  Seth Haniel 09:20 28 Jan 10
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Royal Navy flotilla withdrawn to cut costs, weeks before Haiti disaster

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A Royal Navy flotilla that might have provided relief in the first hours after the Haitian earthquake was withdrawn weeks before the disaster because of budget constraints, the Ministry of Defence said last night.

the first time that the Royal Navy has had a significant gap in cover in the Caribbean since the 17th century.

  Seth Haniel 09:52 28 Jan 10

ask the Times I didn't write it

  GANDALF <|:-)> 10:03 28 Jan 10

I'm fairly sure that they were not aware that there was going to be an earthquake as they are called 'The Royal navy' and not 'The Nostradamus Fleet'. - non story and a triple Meh!

G

  Woolwell 10:49 28 Jan 10

I agree that in relation to the Haiti earthquake this is a bit of a non-story but it does show that the number of ships that the Royal Navy now has operational has been reduced to a level whereby it is unable to maintain a presence in places where traditionally it did so.

The main role of the West Indies ship has in recent year been anti-drugs and there has been success.

The time when Brits in trouble could expect the Royal Navy to turn up have long gone. With the defence budget under pressure we may never see a reasonable size Navy again.

  Bingalau 11:07 28 Jan 10

The fault keeps re-curring ? We always reduce the size of the armed forces and then wake up too late. I wonder what the percentage of our money is spent on the armed forces compared to other countries. I suppose if we had not got involved in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan the percentage would have been practically zero by now. Where on earth does all the money go? It's certainly not on road building or improving the railways. Some people are stashing it away for a rainy day I suppose. Well! the rainy day has arrived.

  Seth Haniel 11:12 28 Jan 10

its Britain Waves Goodbye

  wee eddie 11:51 28 Jan 10

The only reason for keeping Sailors in the West Indies is to stop them getting bored until there is a war to fight.

It gives them a chance to do something useful and hone their skills.

  morddwyd 18:13 28 Jan 10

"The only reason for keeping Sailors in the West Indies is to stop them getting bored until there is a war to fight. "

It's also the only place where you can get a decent tot.

Yes, I know all about Pusser's, but until you've really quaffed Appleton Estate Special you've just been sipping!

  Forum Editor 18:25 28 Jan 10

I'm sure that their naval Lordships have many excellent qualities, but clairvoyance probably isn't one of them.

".flotilla withdrawn weeks before disaster..." is as much a story as say, "Train leaves station weeks before passenger arrives".

Ludicrous is hardly sufficient to describe the mind-numbing triviality of stories like this.

  jack 20:13 28 Jan 10

Cats and Dogs flee and area and birds fy to the hill before an earthquke/eruption-then? ;-}

  spuds 23:54 28 Jan 10

Isn't there something in the report about 'Royal Fleet Auxilaries' still maintaining a presence in the area.

Perhaps the same RFA and other UK vessels who were in striking distance, when two British people were being abducted by Somali sea pirates.

Our old sea dogs, must be turning in their graves.

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