A petition to name the new floating bridge after the Polish warship that protected Cowes and East Cowes during World War II has been gaining traction.
Blyskawica protected Cowes and East Cowes
Set up Cllr Julia Baker-Smith, at time of publishing the petition had attracted 343 supporters.
The petition reads,
Our new “floaty” needs a name, and what could be more fitting than to name her after the ship that saved the towns she serves?
This year marks the 75th Anniversary since the Polish, Cowes built warship saved Cowes and East Cowes. The 5th May is probably the last big anniversary the remaining survivors will see.
On the night of 4–5 May 1942, Blyskawica was instrumental in defending the Isle of Wight town of Cowes from an air raid by 160 German bombers. The ship was undergoing an emergency refit at the J. Samuel White yard where she was built and, on the night of the raid, fired repeated rounds at the German bombers from outside the harbour, her guns becoming so hot they had to be doused with water.
Extra ammunition had to be ferried over from Portsmouth. This forced the bombers to stay high, making it hard for them to target properly. The ship also laid down a smokescreen hiding Cowes from sight. While the town and the shipyard were badly damaged, it is generally thought that without this defensive action, it would have been far worse.
We the undersigned call upon the Isle of Wight Council to name the new Floating Bridge, due to be launched within weeks of the 75th Anniversary, Blyskawica as a fitting tribute to the sacrifices and bravery of the sailors that defended our Island.
If you wish to add your support you can sign the petition
No update yet on comp
The Isle of Wight council invited residents to make suggestions for a new name for Floating Bridge 6 by 7 April 2017. Given that, we’re not sure whether this petition would qualify.
They said that once collated, the best six suggestions will be put to the public vote via their Facebook page; with the winner being announced on 21 April.