HC Deb 30 March 1894 vol 22 c1004
MR. MACDONA (Southwark, Rotherhithe)

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that, on the night of 28th February last, the rudder of the S.S. Larne was smashed by a floating derelict in latitude 47° 27' N., and in longitude 12° 2' W., the bearing of the Lizard at the time being N. 60° 49' E., 310 miles; and will the Government cause inquiry to be made into the matter, and immediately concert such measures as will avert a similar catastrophe happening to our passenger and Mercantile Marine service in our trade routes between hero and America?


From the deposition regarding this casualty, which was taken on the 5th instant at the Custom House at Falmouth, and is on record at the Board of Trade, it appears that while the S.S. Larne was running under steam and sails before a fresh south-westerly gale accompanied by a very heavy cross sea, her rudder broke across horizontally at the water line. The casualty was attributed by the master as being "probably due to striking a floating spar." I am advised that with equal reason it may be attributable to the rough state of the weather. To search for every floating spar in the North Atlantic and elsewhere, and take it out of the water, would be a serious undertaking, but on a later question I will explain what the Government propose to do in the matter.