Ynys Mon's Assembly Member AM is concerned at reports that Bangor University’s research vessel could be leased or sold.

Rhun ap Iorwerth is writing to Bangor University’s Vice Chancellor to ask for clarification about plans for the Prince Madog vessel, which has been a familiar sight on the Menai Strait for many years.

It’s understood from senior ship crew that options are being considered to either lease the ship with its crew to a third party, to lease the ship without its crew, or even to sell it.

“The Prince Madog is not only an iconic sight to us who know the Strait well, but it’s also become a symbol of the excellence of the School of Ocean Sciences." Mr ap Iorwerth explained.

"Many students will have been attracted to study here because of the Prince Madog, and the opportunities it offers.

“As a joint venture between the University and industry, it is already used commercially much of the time, which helps subsidise its academic use, but now I understand that it could be lost to current and future students.

“I hope it’s not too late and that the jobs reliant on the Prince Madog can be saved.”

A senior crew member of the Prince Madog, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “I think it has to be made clear that it is not simply a concern for crew members’ jobs, but also concerned with jobs of people operating in partnership with the vessel.

“The Prince Madog is an asset which was designed built and funded specifically for the use and benefit of a Welsh University.

"At present, it doesn’t matter which option they go for, Bangor University still loses that vessel.”

Mr ap Iorwerth also pointed to the public funds invested in the ship.

“I’m told that a Multi Beam Echo Sounder in the ship’s hull is a key part of its high-tech kit, and that public funds helped pay for it." he said.

"We need to ensure that this investment isn’t lost.”