HC Deb 08 December 1893 vol 19 cc818-9
MR. E. H. BAYLEY (Camberwell, N.)

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that during the recent gale a vessel, the Druid, was wrecked off Margate, that the Margate and Ramsgate lifeboats failed to render any assistance, and that the crew would have been drowned but for the heroic conduct of Mr. Emptage, owner of a pleasure yacht, who gathered a few boatmen about him and saved the crew of the Druid in an ordinary shore boat; and will he order an inquiry as in the case of the Mablethorpe lifeboat?


I am aware of the circumstances referred to in the question. It appears that the Margate lifeboat was launched within 20 minutes, but was temporarily disabled, and before she could again proceed the crew of the Druid had been rescued. It was, I am informed, impossible for the Ramsgate boat to get at the Druid, because of her position under the cliffs. I do not propose, under the circumstances, to order an inquiry to be held into the stranding of the Druid. I shall consider how I can best recognise the excellent services performed by Mr. Emptage and his brave comrades. He has, I understand, been already appointed second coxswain of the Margate boat. It is only fair to add that the Ramsgate lifeboat is managed by the Board of Trade.