HC Deb 15 March 1895 vol 31 cc1145-6
MR. G. WYNDHAM (Dover)

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the loss of life in connection with the wreck of the steamship Waldridge, which went ashore at Port Mulgrave, near Hinderwell, on the Yorkshire coast, on, 31st January; whether he is aware that the men lost might have been saved if the distress signals had been rightly understood; and whether the signals prescribed in the schedule have in the past been found satisfactory and suitable for the purpose; if not, whether the Board of Trade propose to take steps with a view of improving the system of distress signalling?


My attention has been called to the case referred by the hon. Member, which has formed the subject of a recent Board of Trade Inquiry. The answer given by the Court to the question put to them regarding the signals shown is as follows: 11. Was the vessel provided with distress signals, and were proper distress signals exhibited? Answer: The vessel was provided with the proper number of rockets and blue lights, but it was stated that the rockets had been in the ship above two years, and it may be that they had deteriorated. The signals exhibited, namely blue lights, were not proper distress signals. As a matter of fact, they were signals for a pilot, and were so understood from the shore. I am advised that the existing regulations, which have been in force for a long time, have been found satisfactory and suitable, for their purpose, and that if they are complied with and the prescribed signals used, no confusion ought to arise.