Dunkirk 2 Publicity Stunt?
Desperate times call for desperate measures. It seems Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown whose Party is up for reelection might have jumped the gun in his replay of the Dunkirk evacuation, this time involving volcano ash instead of the Luftwaffe. Story from the Times:
Mr Brown said the aircraft carrier Ark Royal and the helicopter carrier Ocean would operate from the Channel ports. “I expect Ocean to be in the Channel today. I expect the Ark Royal to be moving towards the Channel later,” he said. Experts estimated that the Ark Royal could carry about 1,000 civilian passengers on each sailing and Ocean up to 2,000. With crossings taking approximately three hours and a further hour each end for boarding and disembarking, the ships could manage three crossings a day. This would equate to 9,000 of the 150,000 passengers being rescued daily…
Tim Fish, a maritime analyst at Jane’s Information Group, questioned the wisdom of using the warships. He said: “They are very large platforms but it does sound odd to use them as ferries. They are not comfortable by any means. They are not ferries so they will take longer to load and unload in port but they have a large enough capacity to get thousands of people on board for a quick trip across the Channel.”
Cross-Channel ferry companies also said they were coping with the additional passengers and had “plenty of spaces” to get holidaymakers home.
At Think Defence, they are saying what we all are thinking:
I am now taking bets on when the first ‘we are an island’ pundit appears on the news making a case for CVF.
The USN might also argue their $6 billion supercarriers are more “cost effective” as ferries than the British $3.7 billion vessels. I’m just saying…