HC Deb 23 April 1951 vol 487 cc32-3
Mrs. Middleton

(by Private Notice) asked the Minister of Transport whether he has any information which he can give to the House concerning the loss of the trawler "Twilit Waters" off the coast of Cornwall between 11th and 20th April.

The Minister of Transport (Mr. Barnes)

Yes, Sir. According to reports which have appeared in the Press the motor trawler "Twilit Waters," of 113 tons gross, left Brixham, her port of registry, with a crew of nine on 8th April to fish between Start Point, Devon, and Bishop's Rock. She was last heard of in Mount's Bay, Cornwall, on 11th April, when she communicated with her owners by radio. The "Twilit Waters" was due back at Brixham on 19th April; on 20th April, widely scattered wreckage, including a lifebuoy bearing the ship's name, was found at sea in an area south and southwest of the Lizard. I have made arrangements for a preliminary inquiry to be held at once, and investigations are now proceding. The House would, I am sure, wish me to state on its behalf that they share the grave anxiety of the relatives and dependants of those who sailed in the ship.

Mrs. Middleton

While thanking my right hon. Friend for his sympathetic reply, which will be much appreciated by the relatives of these men in their grievous loss, may I ask if he will assure the House that, pending the results of the inquiry, he will take every step necessary to see that the dependants of the men whose lives have been in jeopardy, or are lost, are properly provided for?

Mr. Barnes

I am not sure that responsibility for the dependants rests upon myself. The preliminary inquiries are really to ascertain whether a formal and complete inquiry should follow.