French threaten to blockade port
A GROUP of French yachtsmen have reportedly made threats to blockade the port of Dielette, from where the Manche-Iles Express boat Victor Hugo sails to Guernsey regularly.
Ouest France, a regional French newspaper, has reported that sailors who use the port have been trying to get the attention of authorities since 2014 about the inadequacy of the sliding door for the marina which allows the sail-boat community entrance and exit.
The faulty lock was reported to have led to the marina being emptied in 2015 with ‘serious damage’ to some boats which ran aground as a result. In addition, the constant delays in exiting the marina led to fishermen signing a petition asking for compensation due to lack of earnings connected to missing peak fishing times in the season.
Ouest France reported that the group involved ‘do not exclude to initiate more muscular actions, such as the blockage of the Victor Hugo, which ensures the link with the islands’.
However Hugues Gros, of Manche-Iles Express, says he has not had any direct threat.
‘I don’t know if they will really block the vessel in Dielette. We keep calm and observe the situation. Victor Hugo is operating normally and we hope that it will continue. But everything is possible.’
There are regular timetabled sailings from Guernsey, the next scheduled for Monday. However the Victor Hugo is due to sail from Jersey to Dielette tonight.