There has been worrying news on the fate of a vessel bound for Jersey carrying a cargo of coal. The 801-ton steamboat Stobart had departed Goole in Yorkshire under the command of Captain Stewart. At 6.00am on the morning of 11 August, she hit an enemy mine while on passage around the Norfolk coast. Within two minutes, the ship had sunk, leaving surviving members of the crew in the water. The captain and nine men were reportedly rescued by a passing trawler, but four others are missing presumed drowned.
Coal prices have been rising throughout this year, causing real concern to the island’s authorities. The fuel is not only required for domestic and commercial purposes in its own right, but also forms the raw material from which Jersey’s gas supplies are extracted. As recently as June, the Lieutenant Governor wrote to the Under Secretary of State in London asking that regulations be put in place covering the price Jersey had to pay for its coal from UK suppliers and the cost of shipping to the Channel Islands.
Without such measures, he warned, coal will become unaffordable for many islanders.
A/E/10/4 contains extensive reports and correspondence on the supply of coal into Jersey and the increasing prices as a result of shortages.