HC Deb 18 April 1905 vol 145 cc433-4

To ask the Secretary to the Admiralty whether he is aware that on the occasion of the wreck of a French vessel off the Cornish coast at Poldhu in February last, as well as at the more recent wreck of the "Khyber," the only persons saved were rescued by civilians, and that although the latter vessel was anchored close to the shore and rockets were fired throughout the night she was unable to attract the attention of the coastguard; will he state how many coastguardsmen are stationed in the vicinity, and how their absence from the scene of the respective wrecks is accounted for.

(Answered by Mr. Pretyman.) A complaint as to the failure of the coastguard † See (4) Debates; cxliv., 103, 304. to render assistance until too late in the case of the French vessel has already been received and fully inquired into, when it was found that there was no foundation for the charge. It would be premature to make any statement at present as regards the case of the "Khyber," in view of the inquiry which is being held by the Board of Trade.