HC Deb 30 May 1912 vol 38 cc1571-2

asked the President of the Board of Trade what the requirements of the Board of Trade are as to the provision of lifeboats in excursion steamers, such as those running from Tilbury to Kent and East Coast ports?


I assume that the question refers to excursion steamers to Harwich, Clacton, and Yarmouth, and to Margate, Ramsgate, and Dover; these vessels are required to carry at least two lifeboats under davits and other boats approved buoyant apparatus, and/or lifebelts sufficient with the lifeboats to keep afloat all on board, and at least four lifebuoys. As I have already stated in this House, I am in communication with the owners of excursion steamers with regard to the provision of boats and other life-saving appliances.


asked the number of pleasure steamers plying on the Firths of Forth and Clyde; and how many lifeboats they carry, on an average, per ratio of carrying capacity?


A Return has been ordered by this House which will give information as to the boats and other life-saving appliances on all vessels holding a Board of Trade passenger certificate. I think the hon. Member will find that it includes the information with regard to the class of vessels referred to in his question.


asked whether the steamship "Mandingo," of the Elder-Dempster Line, has lately been inspected; whether it was purchased from a Belgian firm; what lifeboat accommodation is provided on board; whether he is aware that the vessel was three days overdue this year on a voyage to the Canaries; and, if so, if any inquiries have been made as to the cause of this delay?


The vessel referred to by the hon. Member was formerly registered under the Belgian flag as the "Phillipeville" of Antwerp. She was transferred to the British register in September, 1906. She was last surveyed for a Board of Trade passenger certificate in July, 1911, and holds a foreign going passenger certificate, which expires in July, 1912. The following boats were on board when the vessel was surveyed (all under davits): Four A lifeboats of 1,842 cubic feet capacity, two D boats of 725 cubic feet capacity, which accommodate 255 persons, and so the number of the crew and passengers allowed by the certificate is 247. The Board of Trade have received no information as to any casualty having happened to the steamship "Mandingo."