HC Deb 23 April 1996 vol 276 c338 1.35 am
Mr. Nick Ainger (Pembroke)

I wish to present to the House tonight a petition signed by more than 25,000 people, calling for an independent inquiry into the grounding of the Sea Empress, the oil pollution that resulted from it, and related matters.

The petition says: the people of west Wales and the United Kingdom are outraged that over 65,000 tonnes of crude oil was allowed to spill from the Sea Empress from Monday 19 February 1996 causing massive pollution, the death of thousands of seabirds, the destruction of important habitats within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and surrounding sites of world importance, causing serious problems for the tourist and fishing industries in Wales. Wherefore your petitioners pray that your Honourable House calls on the government to ensure full support to those who have suffered consequential loss and immediately initiate an independent and wide-ranging inquiry into the events leading up to the grounding of the Sea Empress on Thursday 15 February 1996, the subsequent salvage operation, the safety of operations in the port of Milford Haven, the full implementation of Lord Donaldson's recommendations following the Braer disaster in January 1993 and the effectiveness of existing salvage law; this inquiry to be ideally controlled by Lord Donaldson of Lymington. And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, etc.

To lie upon the Table.

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