HC Deb 28 February 1887 vol 311 c701
MR. A. SUTHERLAND (Sutherland)

asked the Secretary to the Board of Trade, Whether his attention has been called to the fact that, because of the unprotected state of the decks of fishing boats, the gunwales being only a few inches in height, the estimated loss of life from these vessels by being "Washed overboard," "Struck overboard by the sail," and "Missing while alone on the deck," amounts to 50 per cent of the total loss from all causes; whether the Government intend to provide that owners of boats who neglect to provide guard-rails, and other life-saving apparatus, shall be made liable under the Employers' Liability Acts, or otherwise; and, whether this subject has been investigated by the Royal Commission on Loss of Life at Sea?

THE SECRETARY (Baron HENRY DE WORMS) (Liverpool, East Toxteth)

The loss of life from fishing vessels has, I am glad to say, fallen off very materially during the last few years. It is true that of the lives recently lost from fishing vessels about 50 per cent have been lost from falling, being washed, or knocked overboard. I cannot yet say what steps may be taken under the Employers' Liability Act, or otherwise, in the matter. The subject of the Employers' Liability Act has been brought to the notice of the Royal Commission on Loss of Life at Sea; but until the Report of the Royal Commission is received I am unable to say what action will be taken.