HC Deb 15 July 1878 vol 241 c1466

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether his attention has been called to the frequency of fatal bathing accidents at Scarborough and other watering places; and, if he will consider the desirability of causing instructions to be issued to the authorities of Scarborough and other places where inhabitants derive large revenues directly and indirectly from bathing visitors, requesting them to station watch boats and life-saving apparatus in the neighbourhood of all bathing machines?


Sir, neither my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary's attention nor my own has been called officially to the frequency of fatal bathing accidents, though, of course, I am aware that such lamentable events do occur. With regard, however, to Scarborough, I am informed by the Mayor that the place had enjoyed an immunity from fatal bathing accidents for 14 years till last year, when two of them occurred. The town council had given their attention to the subject, and I have seen the regulations under which stands for bathing machines are now let. One of these requires that the proprietors of bathing machines shall provide a boat with life-buoy and requisite tackle constantly in readiness for the rescue of persons in danger. This will, I hope, be satisfactory to the hon. Gentleman. Under the Public Health Act the Local Government Board are in the constant habit of sanctioning bye-laws for the regulation of bathing; but I have no power to require the authorities to provide watch boats, nor have they the power to do so at the cost of the rates.