HC Deb 06 November 1968 vol 772 cc96-7W
Mr. James Johnson

asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) if he will make a statement upon the findings of the inquiry into the loss of the three Hull trawlers, "St. Romanus", "Ross Cleveland" and "Kingston Peridot" conducted by Mr. John Naisby;

(2) what steps he proposes to take to ensure that owners and builders of trawlers co-operate more fully with his Department in safety measures for the deep sea fishing industry.

Mr. Crosland

I am urgently considering the findings of the Court. Many of the matters referred to were already under consideration before the casualties. Immediately following the casualties I set up the Holland-Martin Committee of Inquiry into Trawler Safety and established an interdepartmental committee to investigate existing and potential fields of research affecting the safety of trawlers. Work has also proceeded nationally and internationally on the safety of fishermen on board trawlers.

In order to ascertain how the stability characteristics of existing distant water trawlers measure up to the criteria established in the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organisation, I have decided to carry out an examination of the stability characteristics of such vessels and preparatory work has already started. The exercise for which Government funds are being provided will involve extensive computer calculations as well as inclining tests.

I am also studying the other matters brought out in the Court's Reports. I know that owners and builders will extend their full co-operation in considering the implementation of any further safety measures for trawlers.

The findings of the Court have been forwarded to the Holland-Martin Committee of Inquiry, so that the Committee can take the recommendations into account in drawing up their final Report.

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