The First Minister was on a visit to the Strategic Co-ordination Centre at North Wales Police Headquarters in Colwyn Bay, which served as a base during the operation. During the visit he met some of those involved in the operation which was led by Assistant Chief Constable Gareth Pritchard and was briefed on the rescue and salvage operation.
The First Minister said:
“I would like to thank and pay tribute to all those who were involved in this operation. A brave rescue operation in atrocious conditions took place on the night itself, followed by a successful salvage operation which has been completed ahead of schedule.
“This incident has seen agencies working together co-ordinated from the base here in North Wales Police. Around 99 per cent of the ship will be recycled and there are no long term consequences for the North Wales coastal environment.
“I am pleased to be here today to personally pass on my appreciation and also to see the Strategic Co-ordination Centre, one of three we have established across Wales to respond promptly and effectively to any civil emergency.”
The Strategic Co-ordination Centres in Colwyn Bay, Carmarthen and Cardiff were jointly funded by the Welsh Government, which provided £10m, and the four Police Authorities. The hi-tech centres, opened in September 2011, create an infrastructure which facilitates multi-agency planning, training and exercises whilst also providing a base to manage the response to emergencies.