HC Deb 23 February 1914 vol 58 cc1401-2

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the loss of the Boy Scouts' ketch "Mirror," when a scoutmaster and three scouts were drown off Gravesend last October; and whether any steps have been taken by the Board for the better protection of life and property at sea by insisting that in all future engagements ships' officers should be certificated?


The attention of the Board of Trade was called to this casualty, and a formal investigation was held in London on 26th and 27th January and on 2nd, 3rd, and 4th February. The official report of the Court of Inquiry has now been received, and it will receive my careful consideration. The provisions of the Merchant Shipping Acts as regards certificated officers do not at present require ships employed in the home trade, other than passenger steamships, to carry certificated officers, and I doubt if it would be practicable to require small home-trade sailing vessels, such as the "Mirror," to have them. I may add that the master of the steamship "Hogarth," which was in collision with the "Mirror," holds a certificate of competency, and the master of "Mirror," who was uncertificated, was not considered by the Court to have been to blame for the collision.