HC Deb 14 July 1952 vol 503 cc134-5W
Mr. Dudley Williams

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if his attention has been drawn to the fact that one of the naval ratings drowned at Exmouth on 6th July, when returning to H.M.S. "Battle-axe," was unable to swim; and if he will take steps to ensure that in future all naval personnel can swim before proceeding to sea in Her Majesty's ships.

Mr. J. P. L. Thomas

Officers and ratings of the Royal Navy are encouraged to learn to swim and are given all possible instruction, especially during their initial training. Some ratings, however, enter the Service at 18½ and later, without having received any swimming instruction. It is not practicable to stop them being drafted to sea until they have learned to swim. I should like to take this opportunity of expressing the sympathy of the Board of Admiralty with the relatives of the two ratings.