HC Deb 01 April 1878 vol 239 cc286-7

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, What was the amount of ballast in H.M.S. "Eurydice" when she left England, and is there any reason to suppose any was removed abroad; what were her angles of maximum and vanishing stability ascertained from the experiments said to have been made on her, and were these angles communicated to Captain Hare; were the "Eurydice's" hammocks made buoyant by any method recommended to the Admiralty, or were there life-belts sufficient for the Officers and men; and, what is the objection to the hammocks being made buoyant either by means of cork mattresses or waterproof sheets, seeing that they are so stowed as to be immediately accessible in case of sudden emergency?


Sir, in answer to the hon. and gallant Member, I beg to state that the amount of ballast on board H.M.S. Eurydice when she left England was 30 tons. There is no reason to suppose any was removed abroad. The angles of maximum and vanishing stability were not ascertained. The hammocks were not made buoyant. There is reason to believe the usual establishment of life-belts was on board—namely, 10 per cent of the complement, or about 30 life-belts. With regard to the last part of the Question, cork mattresses and waterproof sheets have been tried, and have proved unsatisfactory on various points. The men do not like them, moreover. I may add that it would have been impossible to get them out of the hammock nettings in time in the sudden disaster which befell the Eurydice. It is the intention of the Admiralty to institute as complete and searching an inquiry as is possible into the loss of the Eurydice. Every effort will be made to discover if there were any preventible causes which led to this sad catastrophe; and that the inquiry will be made by means of the court martial on the survivors.