HC Deb 26 February 1895 vol 30 cc1560-1

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to cases in which the hawsers of tugs are broken, or compelled to be cast off, by stress of weather, and of the difficulty of reestablishing communication between tugs and vessels when a heavy sea is running; whether the case of the Maryland, the hawsers of which were carried away while towing the s.s. Loch Maree off the coast of Ireland, and a large disabled steamer left to drift in the Atlantic, has been specially brought under his notice; whether the German Government are now availing themselves of Dawson's line-throwing gun for the purpose of establishing communication between vessels at sea; and whether the Board of Trade will include line-throwing guns amongst the life-saving appliances vessels are expected to carry?


My attention has been called to the case to which my hon. Friend refers. There is no doubt, that in heavy weather the hawsers of tugs are, sometimes broken or compelled to be cast off' but the Board of Trade have no power to insist upon line-throwing guns being carried by merchant ships, and no recommendation to that effect has been made by the Life-saving Appliances Committee. I am making inquiries as to what has been done in Germany in the matter, but am advised that a line-throwing gun is not necessary, as two ordinary signal rockets lashed together will effect the purpose of establishing communication.