HC Deb 22 July 1964 vol 699 cc96-7W
Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he is aware that a helicopter from Leuchars Royal Air Force station made a vain attempt to help the master and crew of the Scottish trawler "Sirius", which was sunk on 16th July in Scottish waters by a Polish trawler, but that the helicopter during the operations ran short of fuel and had to give up operations even after being helped by a Shackleton; and why the helicopter was allowed to take part in these operations without sufficient fuel.

Mr. H. Fraser

The helicopter took on a full fuel load at Buchan before flying to the scene of the accident to the "Sirius"on 14th July. The crew displayed a high standard of airmanship in operating at extreme range and in the dark. I regret that this gallant attempt failed in its purpose.

I would add that a Shackleton aircraft of the Royal Air Force assisted in the search for survivors both on 14th July and 15th July, but was hindered by poor visibility.

I understand that two survivors were rescued by the Polish vessel "Zieba" and later transferred to a British trawler.