Falklands 40: Headlines from The News on May 27, 1982

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Friday, 27th May 2022, 4:55 am

Cargo ship toll rises to nine, master among the missing

Nine men, including the master, are now feared to have died when the Cunard cargo ship Atlantic Conveyor was hit by two Exocet missiles during Tuesday’s Argentinian air attack.

A Cunard spokesman said today that Captain Ian North and four other crewmen were missing.

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Falklands ship Atlantic Conveyor

Four others on the vessel are known to have died - three servicemen and a merchant seaman, it was disclosed today.

A statement from the Cunard Steamship today said: ‘In addition to the fatality confirmed yesterday, five further crewmen, including the Master, Captain Ian North, are missing.

‘Further statements will follow as the company receives more news.’

Families of the missing crew members were informed yesterday by the company.

The News on May 27, 1982

Atlantic Conveyor slipped out of her home port of Liverpool about a month ago with her cargo of 20 Harrier jets for the task force.

The Ministry of Defence has said that none of the planes were on board when the ship was hit.

Captain North, a jovial, bearded Yorkshireman nicknamed ‘Captain Birds Eye’, had commanded the 14,950-ton cargo ship for three years.

He was among the first to volunteer for duty when the Merchant Navy was called into service with the Falklands task force.

Cunard regarded him as one of the finest masters in its cargo fleet. Captain North, 57, was a veteran of the Second World War and first went to sea in 1939 at the age of 14.

Troops set for big push

With British troops on the Falkland Islands now poised to make their main thrust towards the capital of Port Stanley, Defence Secretary Mr John Nott was today spelling out the details to his colleagues in the War Cabinet.

Some MPs believe that the main push is either about to begin or that it may even have started.

But Mr Nott, who was also due to report to the full Cabinet, has been at pains to warn both in public and in private over the past few days against what he considers undue optimism over a quick victory.

Floods of volunteers

Portsmouth Dockyard workers are queuing up to join the Falklands task force.

Within hours of notices going up in the ‘Yard asking for 16 volunteers to man a Dockyard Repair Group to go to the South Atlantic, applications have been flooding in.

The men will be needed to carry out vital repairs to ships damaged in action.

‘It is entirely consistent with the magnificent response by the men in the naval base since the Falklands crisis arose,’ a ‘Yard spokesman said.

The notice called specifically for 16 tradesmen covering shipwrights, welders, iron caulker rivetters and burners plus a foreman, inspector, and two technical supervisors.

Lottery aid idea for Lido

Profits from Portsmouth’s successful city lottery could help transform Hilsea Lido into a sun centre with a recreation pool.

Such a scheme would find favour with several city councillors, including Mr Sidney Rapson, Labour’s leisure spokesman.

‘But I will only support funding it from the city lottery when Alexandra Park is finished.’

Mr. Rapson said that when he ‘tested the water’ recently, the Leisure Committee Chairman (Mr Charles Mos), the Leader of the Council (Mr John Marshall), and its Deputy Leader (Mr Ian Gibson) ‘seemed to like the idea’.