HC Deb 15 January 1964 vol 687 cc27-8W
53. Mr. Jeger

asked the Minister of Transport if he will arrange that all ships' lifeboats are painted in luminous orange or other distinctive colour to facilitate sighting by ships and aircraft engaged in rescue work.

Vice-Admiral Hughes Hallett

This has been considered internationally, but the experts' conclusion was that in a lifeboat carrying passengers the paint would not show. Lifeboats must carry:—

  1. (a) two parachute signals giving a bright red light at high altitude;
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  3. (b) six hand flares giving a bright red light;
  4. (c) two buoyant smoke signals (for daytime use) giving off a volume of orange-coloured smoke;
  5. (d) an electric torch suitable for morse signalling;
  6. (e) a daylight-signalling mirror.
The new convention will also require them to carry a canopy, and this will be painted orange or some other highly visible colour.

54. Mr. Loughlin

asked the Minister of Transport whether he will make arrangements for all ships' lifeboats to carry supplies of the colouring material currently carried by aircraft so that aircraft searching for survivors of an abandoned ship can readily identify the area of search.

Vice-Admiral Hughes Hallet

No. This particular method of identification has proved ineffective in practice and was not adoptee, by the 1960 Conference on Safety of Life at Sea. Other methods, already required, seem to offer more help to rescue ships and aircraft.