HC Deb 31 October 1916 vol 86 cc1559-60W

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether the Admiralty has had its attention drawn to the conditions in which the arrival on the Kentish shore of the ketch—rigged barge "Teutonic" became known to the naval and military authorities on a recent Sunday morning; if the Admiralty were made aware at the time that this steel-built craft came ashore almost opposite the Imperial Hotel at Hythe, within easy reach of Moyle Tower, at 1 a.m. Greenwich time on the morning in question, and that from the accounts given by the master mariner and crew signal lights were fired from the vessel between the hours of one and three without any attention being paid to them, either from the sea or shore; if the distressed mariners on board were left without assistance till the fall of the tide, when they were enabled at last to reach the land and subsequently report themselves to the police; and whether, in the circumstances, the naval authorities are satisfied that due guard and vigilance is maintained on the Channel shore against the possible arrival of hostile or spying craft of light tonnage?


A report on this matter was received at the Admiralty on the 17th instant. The vessel stranded one mile east of the coastguard station about 1 a.m. on the 15th instant. Owing the thick misty weather at the time, the wreck and any lights which might have been fired were not observed by the coastguard. They were informed of the casualty at 3.20 a.m., and arrived on the scene ten minutes later. It appears that the tide was ebbing and that the crew were in no danger; they eventually walked ashore. The naval authorities consider that the contingency foreshadowed in the last part of my hon. Friend's question is sufficiently provided against.