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Christmas Issue 2011

www.seren.bangor.ac.uk

Prince William Helps Rescue Stranded Seamen

Steven Freeman

P

rince William aided in the rescue of stranded seamen after their ship sank 10 miles west of the Llyn Peninsula in the Irish Sea.

The sunken Russian vessel MV Swanland, began to sink at around 2.30AM of Sunday 27th November after it became a victim of the rough seas. Air and sea rescue services were scrambled to try and locate and rescue the sailors, and in total 6 RAF rescue helicopters, 2 Irish Coastguard helicopter, 1 Irish Coastguard fixed wing aircraft and 4 lifeboat crews worked together in the rescue effort.

The search was postponed at 4.45AM due to poor lighting, but commenced later that morning. Prince William who was piloting a rescue helicopter from RAF Valley 22 Squadron recovered one seamen who was taken to Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor. Another seaman was later recovered, but was unfortunately found dead. The search is still on for the 5 other seamen who formed part of the crew of 8, but as time goes on the hope of finding the remaining men alive is fading.

The MV Swanland before the tragedy

Gwynedd Council Health And Safety Gone Mad?

Jez Harvey

G

wynedd Council have been criticised recently for placing health and safety warnings on a group of rocks on a beach in Cardigan Bay. The group of rocks, that might in some

peoples eyes be viewed as perfect for larking about on, are in fact a danger to life and limb for anyone foolhardy enough to go near them, according to the council.

A spokesperson for the council said that the rocks contain, “significant voids” which when combined with the slipperiness of being near the sea, make them dangerous to people. They said that the council has a duty of care to the public and wanted to inform the public that there are apparently dangers of standing on large, wet rocks with “significant voids”. Some local people are unhappy with the move, claiming that they give off entirely the wrong image, as the beach is in an area with significant income from tourism. “It’s as if they have seen people enjoying themselves on the rocks and want to stop it”.

Girl From North Wales Warned Not To Horse Around Jez Harvey

D

o you ever suffer from those long sleepless nights when your mind decides that rather than sleep, it’s going to replay the Top Ten Most Embarrassing Moments of your life? Well, it could be much worse. A student at the University of Derby, but originally hailing from North Wales, became trapped in a clothes horse and required help from the Fire Service to be freed.

Danielle Morgan was apparently “mucking about” and fell off her friend’s bed and somehow became entangled in the clothes horse. Bolt croppers were required to free the

student, whose friends very kindly and helpfully recorded every moment of the ordeal, just to ensure that the memory would live in on posterity. A friend of Ms Morgan phoned the emergency services on her behalf and apparently had trouble convincing them of the situation. “I don’t think they quite believed it to begin with”. Here’s hoping Ms Morgan has learnt of the dangers of (clothes) horsing around.

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Local News

Front Page Continued...

Last year a number of the University-owned halls were hit with water problems. A water pressure issue left all seven floors of Bryn Dinas students without the running water for an entire week. No real compensation was offered for the inconvenience to the 150 plus students but residents were provided with a bottle of water each, per day, and were given free meals at Bar Uno on the Saturday and Sunday. International students living in the Bryn Eithin halls of residence on St Mary’s Site last year were also the victims of problems. Hot water, heating, Internet and laundrette facilities, were intermittent in the hall over a period of four months. Once the issue was brought to the attention of the Students’ Union the problems were finally resolved providing each affected student with £897 of compensation; the equivalent of half a month’s rent for each month they were without these essential services. Rob King, a third year music student, remembers back to his first year

when similar problems arose; “We were left without any cold water for several days. Twice over.” He said. “No replacement water was given and we had to go and buy it ourselves from Morrisons. The only explanation we received was that there was a burst pipe somewhere in Bangor.” Compensation, once again, wasn’t received by the Enlli residents. It seems that Bangor’s halls of residence are unable to go a year without encountering any water problems and is perhaps something that should receive quite a bit of attention in the summer months to ensure it doesn’t happen again. The Halls Office advises students to use maintenance forms and visit them directly if there’s a bigger issue. We’re also told they are currently looking into out of hour’s procedures to ensure information and services are available to students throughout the week. At time of print there has been no mention of compensation.

Lecturers Strike: Views From The Picket Line

Steven Freeman

On Wednesday 30th September the biggest strike in 30 years took place all over the UK over the issue of Public Sector pensions. The mass support for striking came after the news that Public Sector workers would contribute considerably more to their pensions but have to work for longer before they were entitled to them. After lengthy negotiations between Trade Unions and the Government that seemed fruitless, it was not surprising that such mass support was present as the strikes got underway. The strikes caused much disruption through the UK effecting universities, schools, airports, ports, council offices, hospitals and many other areas of the Public Sector. Ministers had to call in staff from British embassies throughout the world in order to man the immigration controls at airports and ports to try and prevent as much disruption as possible. Education Minister Michael Gove in the lead up to the

strike commented that teachers were simply “itching for a fight” and that he wanted teachers to pause and reflect on the situation. He continued, that teachers should think about parents who were having to pay out for childcare for the day of the strike and that they would not be able to afford a day less pay in the run up to Christmas. The fact of the matter is, this small talk was irrelevant and it seems quite worrying to think that senior politicians believed that such a large strike could have been diverted by them pleading on such petty grounds. With such a mass supported strike, only time will tell whether the Trade Unions still hold as much power as they have done throughout history, and whether a negotiation will be reached regarding Public Sector pensions. Until then, we can reflect upon the situation of today and ask ourselves, are we seeing the revival of the 80’s?

Seren - 221 - 2011/12 - December Issue  

This is the December 2011/12 issue of Seren, Bangor Univeristy's English Language Newspaper. Produced by students for students.