§ Mr. Arbuthnot (by Private Notice) asked the Minister of Transport whether he has any statement to make about the East Goodwin lightship.
§ The Minister of Transport (Mr. Ernest Marples)
I understand from Trinity House that the East Goodwin lightship broke away from its permanent cable at 9.50 p.m. on Sunday, 12th November. She is now riding comfort- 200 ably on one of her two spare cables, about 1½ miles east of the South Goodwin lightship. The East Goodwin lightship is in the hands of an experienced master with a Trinity House tender now standing by. The new permanent cable will be shipped as soon as the weather allows, and then the lightship can be placed in its usual position.
§ Mr. Arbuthnot
While the conduct of the master and crew are beyond all praise—[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."]—will my right hon. Friend say whether there is any evidence of further storms expected in the Channel which are likely to subject these gallant men to further trials? When this is over, will my right hon. Friend reopen with Trinity House the question of providing a light vessel with some form of motive power, so that it will not drift helplessly should an anchor fail on another occasion?
§ Mr. Marples
It is difficult for me to forecast the weather in the Channel. In any event, the lightship still has another spare cable with an independent anchor on board and if storms should occur it will be perfectly safe.
Trinity House has considered at various times whether lightships should be powered, but the lightships in British waters are so close to ports that conditions do not warrant it. None of the lightships of any of the three general lighthouse authorities is powered.
§ Mr. John MacLeod
As these are expensive ships to keep, is there any reason why there should not be a permanent steel structure?