Clegg: We 'Reacted Quickly' To Missing Yacht
Wednesday 21st May 2014
Nick Clegg has been defending the government's reaction to the four British sailors still missing in the Atlantic.
Speaking on this week's Call Clegg caller Charlie, a friend of Andrew Bridge who is one of those missing, asked Mr Clegg why it had taken the government so long to put pressure on US authorities to resume the search, after they called it off last week.
"As you know, the American search and rescue services - according to them - covered an extensive area in the first instance. The weather then deteriorated - but they have now resumed their search" Mr Clegg said.
"I think there were immediate attempts, through the government, to make the case on behalf of the UK that everybody would like to see the rescue operation resumed.
I am told the British search and rescue specialists feel the Americans did what was expected in this situation, across such a vast area of the ocean, in very difficult weather conditions.
What I can't tell you - as I simply don't know - is at what point the search was called off."
"As you know - government ministers were immediately dispatched to speak to US authorities - so these authorities knew what was felt on the other side of the Atlantic. We did what people would expect of the government. But I cannot second guess the professional judgement of the US coastguard. They often have to make decisions in difficult circumstances."