HMS SOUTHAMPTON IN MONTSERRAT, AUGUST 1995 [Allocated Title]
- Title: HMS SOUTHAMPTON IN MONTSERRAT, AUGUST 1995 [Allocated Title]
- Film Number: ADM 6562
- Other titles: MISCELLANEOUS OLD ADMIRALTY BUILDING TAPES [Allocated Series Title]
- Summary: Unedited footage of the visit of the West Indies Guard Ship "HMS Southampton" to Monserrat to assist in possible evacuation after the eruption of the Soufrière Hills volcano, August 1995.
- Description: (Tape 1) (i) Interior shots of helicopter in flight: aerial views of Montserrat and of "HMS Southampton" (D90). Flight over island: lush vegetation gives way to smoking fissures and drifts of ash. Focus on plume of white smoke leaving the ground. Further views of unaffected portions of the island. (ii) Shots from moving Land Rover; naval officer gives account of the volcanic activity and describes how 5000 people have been evacuated from the east side of the island (some gaps in image). Cow is chased from road. Arrival in Saint John's, in the north of the island: street scenes. Refugee camp being built outside Saint John's: tents, ISO containers and earth movers in evidence. Interview with Chris Williamson discusses the erection of the tents in case of evacuation from the south of the island; interviews also with two (unidentified) artificers. Sailors rehydrate from water bottles. Erection of tents with assistance from members of the volunteer Montserrat Defence Force (MDF). Refugees: interviews with two girls, Natasha Tuitt and her sister Ludile Tuitt. Arrival of wooden tent poles, which have been mixed up and needed to be sorted by size: interview with Petty Officer John Currie who highlights the problem and notes that only 16 of a total of 60 tents has been erected so far. Interview with Petty Officer Beech who has (with Lieutenant Pierce Horrell) carries out a beach survey. (Tape 2) 8 August. (i) Interview with Commander Tim Forster about the crew's role in setting up the camp and the experience of working with local forces, and also the possibility of evacuation. (ii) "Southampton's" Lynx helicopter on sports field, crewing up and taking off. Aerial views of the tented camp at Saint John's, mountains and harbour. (iii) "HMS Westminster" (F237) on station in Saint John's, the capital of Antigua (not to be confused with Saint John's in Montserrat). Gangway activity, sailors and officers chat. Sign on shore says "Welcome to the Port of Antigua and Barbuda". Container ship "Stefanie" sails past and docks. Interview with Lieutenant Andy Price about "Westminster's" mission to be on station in case of a full volcanic eruption in Montserrat 30 miles away. (iv) VC Bird International Airport, Antigua: Boeing 747 lands. RN helicopter takes off and pilot flies over island. (v) Aerial views of Montserrat's area of volcanic activity: plumes of smoke and burnt trees are seen. Shot of helicopter taking off from grass. (Tape 3) 11 August. Street and harbour scenes in Plymouth, capital of Montserrat. Interview with local man William Corbett about his reactions to the volcano; he also gives appreciative comments about the Royal Navy. General views of Plymouth streets. Interview with David Hodd (a Montserrat resident for 25 years) about the situation and preparations for possible evacuation. Interview with local shopkeeper Rita Witt about problems with trade. She has copies of the two local newspapers - Montserrat News (headline "Volcano holding steady: people settling down") and the Montserrat Reporter (headline"Stop the slide"). Clock tower in Plymouth. Interviews on the street with local men Charles Daley, Samuel White (cab driver) and Clifford Farrell: latter is a volunteer fire officer. Shots of streets and businesses (including "Red Cross Souvenir Hut"). Drive-through of Plymouth streets in Mr White's cab - he discusses the situation as he drives. (Tape 4) Interior of Government House, Plymouth: general views from various angles of a committee of local women holding a meeting. Exterior views of Government House with uniformed guard. Interview with local women Rosalyn Dyer and Ursel Pearson. The governor of Montserrat, His Excellency Frank Savage, discusses the volcanic activity and the possibility of evacuation (some small villages and the elderly have already been evacuated). More scenes in Plymouth, including view of the volcano and its plume of smoke. Royal Navy helicopter takes off. Members of the Montserrat Defence Force gathering: roll call and salute from Commanding Officer, Major Joseph Lynch. Interviews with Major Lynch about the MDF's role, and also interview with Chief Petty Officer Nick Bailey, aircraft engineer from "HMS Westminster". (Tape 5) (i) Plymouth harbour: evacuation of members of the population who have voluntarily decided to leave on the ferry boat "Caribe Queen". People and passports are checked and people get on board. Shots of beach and smoke-shrouded volcano. (ii) Interview with Commander Keith Winstanley, Commanding Officer of "HMS Southampton" about the ship's role as West Indies Guard Ship (supporting British dependent territories). (iii) Interior of temporary volcano monitoring station: US seismologist holds up a seismograph and explains what the needle tracings represent. Interview with British vulcanologist Willie Aspinall. (iv) Aftermath of road traffic accident in the Montserrat countryside: injured Royal Marine and local man are treated in the back of a pick-up truck. Land Rover ambulance is in attendance. Lynx helicopter lands nearby bringing emergency slings and padded stretchers to help transport the victims (both of whom may have neck or back injuries). Marine is lifted onto stretcher. (Tape 6) (i) Further coverage of the aftermath of the road traffic accident: injured Marine, a saline drip in his leg, is lifted to the ground and then loaded on board the Lynx helicopter for evacuation. (ii) Brief shot of volcano. Helicopter lands - net is prepared ready to add underslung load. Brief helicopter maintenance shot. (iii) Interviews with Lieutenant Rick Anderson and Lieutenant "Swampy" Marsh (Flight Commander) of 815 Naval Air Squadron, outlining duties and role. (iv) Interior shots of Lynx helicopter during flight. (Tape 7) (i) Gathering of refugees in Saint John's, Montserrat: older people have been evacuated to hurricane shelter in school. RN pilot talks to elderly lady. Interview with Mary Irish about conditions in the hurricane shelter. (ii) Members of the Montserrat Defence Force load metal tent posts into ISO container at refugee camp at Saint John's. Mechanical earth movers shift boulders. Interview with Corporal Anthony Wright of 42 Commando, manning a vehicle checkpoint set up to prevent people from returning to the south of the island. Marine Phil Richards is also interviewed at the VCP. (iii) Salem Police Station, Montserrat: Royal Marines arrive and are briefed. Interview with briefing oficer Captain Paul Mansell, CO M Company 42 Commando (Fleet Standby Rifle Company) about their role assisting the civil power. Further briefing of Marines by senior officer; they are then sworn in as Montserrat Special Constables. (iv) General shots of staff briefing at Government House with governor and senior officials. (Tape 8) scenes shot on 16 August.
- Access Conditions:
- Featured Period: 1976-2000
- Production Date: 1995-08
- Production Country: GB
- Production Details: Directorate of Public Relations (Navy) Film and Photographic (Production company) Antrobus, Stuart (Production individual)
- Personalities, Units and Organisations:
- Physical Characteristics: Colour format: Colour Sound format: Sound Soundtrack language: English Title language: None Subtitle language: None
- Technical Details: Format: Beta-SP Number of items/reels/tapes: 7 Footage: 30; Running time: 240 mins (ca)
- HD Media:
- Notes: Summary: the long-dormant Soufrière Hills volcano in the south of Montserrat became active in July 1995 and vulcanologists began to voice concern. Contingencies wre put in place for possible evacuation to the north part of the island or to Antigua and "HMS Southampton", as West Indies Guard Ship, sailed to assist, with support from "HMS Westminster" and auxiliaries. Major eruptions would subsequently take place in June and August 1997, leading to a full scale evacuation: see ADM 6602 for coverage of "HMS Liverpool" assisting in this evacuation. Remarks: tapes originally labelled 1 to 9, with tape 5 missing. Tape 8 not viewed.
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