Valletta and harbours Biographicaly Review

One of a number of ways in which Captain Carter has impressed is the attention to what he considers his duty, beyond any obligation of necessity, in his very regular attendance at meetings of the Dun Laoghaire Lifeboat Committee.

It is normal for that Committee to elect the local Harbour Master a member at every annual meeting. There are many matters going on in the harbour (or rumoured as being about to go on) which vitally affect the lifeboat service.

This is particularly so with many changes taking place and with the lifeboat station waiting more than thirty years for a satisfactory new station to replace the fine Boat House demolished after nearly sixty years at the entry to Carlisle Pier. There was a period too, not so long ago, when all and sundry were submitting new plans for the harbour's future, and one group charmingly planned a future for our port without room in it for a lifeboat station at all.

Other groups active in the harbour have also (not all!) found reason to be grateful to Captain Carter who, if by way of being outspoken which it is right he should be, is also courteous. He has the gift which some of his predecessors certainly had not, of making fascinating conversation and he has shown himself to be a Harbour Master ready to risk his own life, notwithstanding the high office he holds, which would have made it very easy for him to order somebody else to take the risk. It was on 29 November 1990 M.V. "Fisko" had loaded a full cargo of frozen fish which was quite frequently exported to distant destinations from Dun Laoghaire often in ships with what still seemed rather exotic ports of registry like Valletta.

She had the pilot already aboard and was now facing seaward in the act of casting off from No. 4 Berth when one of the harbour constables fell off the quay into the harbour. Without a moment's hesitation Captain Carter threw off his overclothes (remember this was November), swam to the man in peril and performed a classic rescue of an individual in danger of drowning.

The man rescued had fallen into the water with his glasses on and Captain Carter noticed that he had them still on when brought ashore, to the man's amazement when he lifted his hand to the bridge of his nose. (It took no little effort by Dr John de Courcy Ireland to extract from Captain Carter the details of an event which proved him to be a worthy successor to men like Hutchinson and Sheil).

Before becoming Harbour Master at Dun Laoghaire Captain Carter went through a long and varied set of experiences chiefly when serving in the tanker fleet of the British Petroleum Company.

More serious has been the trouble the station has had to get the harbour authority to remove the slipway, down which till far off 1938 lifeboats used to glide (to the joy of beholders), from the long demolished boathouse into the water of the eastern part of the harbour. Big, long term and immediate, problems cannot be solved by the Lifeboat Station without consulting the Harbour Authority through its proper agent the Harbour Master.

Captain Carter's attentiveness to the lifeboat's needs, by regular attendance at the lifeboat station's committee meetings has earned much gratitude from the lifeboat service.

Valletta city (1994 est. pop. 9,129), capital of Malta, NE Malta. It is strategically located on a rocky promontory between two deep harbors. Dockyards line the harbors and employ more workers than any other industry. Tourism is also an important industry. A 16th-century town, with many relics of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem (the Knights Hospitalers, or Knights of Malta), Valletta contains a 16th-century cathedral, the old governor's palace, the Royal Univ. (1769), a National Museum of Fine Arts, and a library with a museum of antiquities. The city was severely damaged by air raids in World War II.


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