SS Richard Montgomery

Transport written question – answered at on 25 January 2010.

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Photo of Derek Wyatt Derek Wyatt Labour, Sittingbourne and Sheppey

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent reports he has received of fires appearing above the SS Richard Montgomery in the Thames Estuary; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Paul Clark Paul Clark Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Transport

The wreck of the SS Richard Montgomery is kept under 24-hour surveillance by Medway Ports, under contract to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. No such fires have been observed or reported.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes8 people think so

No28 people think not

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ron angel
Posted on 1 Feb 2010 1:36 am (Report this annotation)

According to local sources on sheppy the fires are probably from wooden crates that held White phosphorus bombs and sheets disintegrating. The pieces of phosphorus which is water insoluble, float to the surface and are washed onto the superstructure of the wreck whereupon they dry out, come in contact with the air and burst into flame, spontaneously.These flares of light are very short lived so no traces remain after residue being washed by the sea.There is no danger of explosion (if indeed this is the cause yet unproven but lightly )but if phosphorus is escaping what else? The very real danger is pieces of it being washed up on the shore and being picked up while wet.If in contact with the skin when dried out would burn down to the bone. If left in contact with other materials start a fire without warning. see:

ron angel
Posted on 9 Feb 2010 4:19 am (Report this annotation)

Update on above I have been told that in excess of 41 people have reported the "lights" to the local police & coastguard. It seems strange to me that an answer of "No such fires have been observed or reported" should have been given.. The only reason I can think of is that nobody tells MPs about these things or he did not know about it at the time of answering the question. maybe it should be rephrased updated & asked again...

leo charles
Posted on 6 Jul 2010 11:23 pm (Report this annotation)

Ever so slightly changing the subject but why does it seem that this accident waiting to happen is not being considered a slight problem as far as 'Boris island' airport is concerned??

ron angel
Posted on 11 Sep 2011 6:43 am (Report this annotation)

Please have a look at & sign my petition
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Render safe, or remove wreck of liberty ship SS Richard Montgomery of the coast sheerness Kent England. The ship sunk 67 years ago 20 august 1944 containing 1400 tons of high explosive some still in primed condition and libel to explode without warning. The wreck also may contain mustard gas or other chemical agents the existence of which cannot be confirmed or denied under a freedom of information enquiry.