Officers receive Napoli thanks

A Sidmouth police sergeant received a letter of appreciation from the chief coastguard last week for his work during the Napoli disaster.

TWO police sergeants received a letter of appreciation from the chief coastguard last week for their work during the Napoli disaster.Sergeant Andy Turner, pictured, of Sidmouth police, and Sergeant Gary Phillips at Seaton supervised 20 to 30 officers, in the clear-up operation for a month after the freighter was grounded.This meant doing many long shifts which included much frustrating work in controlling the traffic into Branscombe.Sgt Phillips, who polices Branscombe and was on the scene on the day of the grounding, said problems were caused by some of the national newspaper coverage, including one which printed a "treasure map" to Branscombe.He said: "Everyone rallied well and the staff worked with tireless enthusiasm, often putting in 18-hour days."Sgt Turner said: "It was very bad for the people of Branscombe. There was a one-way system, they couldn't get to their houses and they showed remarkable patience." He said it was a tough job for everyone involved.Chief Coastguard Peter Dymond made the presentation, which was received by Inspector Jim Gale on the sergeants' behalf.Mr Dymond commented on how well the police officers co-ordinated the operation and liaised with the coastguard in exceptional circumstances, bringing order to a situation of chaos.Peter Hoare, station chief of Beer coastguard, agreed the two, coastguard and police, worked well as a team.

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