HC Deb 22 July 1903 vol 125 c1435

To ask the Secretary to the Admiralty whether the teaching of swimming and diving is part of the education and training of officers and men in the British Navy; and, if so, under what regulations proficiency is secured in these exercises for health and the saving of life.

(Answered by Mr. Arnold-Forster.) The reply is in the affirmative. All Executive, Engineer, and Accountant Officers in the Royal Navy must be in the possession of certificates of proficiency in swimming, and all boys in the training ships are taught to swim. There are various men's ratings for which ability to swim is not a necessary qualification, but in these cases every encouragement is offered to the men to learn, both by giving facilities while at the home ports and in the Reserves, and by the holding of swimming classes in His Majesty's ships. At all inspections of His Majesty's ships it is the duty of the inspecting officer to make special inquiries as to the number of persons on board, if any, who cannot swim, and to report what steps are taken in the matter. The general Regulations on the subject will be found in Article 263 of the King's Regulations and Admiralty Instructions.