HC Deb 11 May 1960 vol 623 cc412-3
40. Mr. Bullard

asked the Minister of Transport if he is aware of the danger to the fishermen of Brancaster from the wreck originally sunk as a target in the channel there; why the marking of the wreck with buoys was discontinued; why he sold the wreck as scrap and subsequently failed to insist on the purchasers fulfilling their obligation to remove it; and whether he will now have the wreck removed.

Mr. Hay

I assume that my hon. Friend is referring to the wreck of the "Vina" in Brancaster Bay, about which he has written to my right hon. Friend.

Its marking was discontinued in April, 1959, when the buoy previously provided by the Air Ministry broke away.

The wreck was, however, sold by my Department in 1957 and it was resold in May, 1959. I am advised that responsibility for the wreck and for taking reasonable measures to ensure the safety of other vessels lies with its present owner.

I am aware that there have been complaints that this wreck may be a danger to fishermen and we are in communication with the owner and Trinity House with a view to an early solution of this matter.

Mr. Bullard

Was it not rather a mistake to sell this wreck to a scrap merchant who had not facilities for marking it or perhaps even for removing it? Will my hon. Friend make amends by having the wreck cleared out of the channel at the earliest possible moment?

Mr. Hay

Yes, Sir. I am giving personal attention to this matter, about which I have been concerned for some time. I hope that we shall be able to clear it before long.

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