HC Deb 18 March 1971 vol 813 c382W
59. Mr. Grimond

asked the Minister of State for Defence to what extent a Russian trawler recently attempted to resist or carry off a Naval boarding party North of Shetland, and what announcement about this incident was made with his authority.

Mr. Kirk

On 4th March, 1971, a Soviet trawler which was suspected of committing an offence under the Foreign Fishing Boats (Stowage of Gear) Order, 1970, was arrested by H.M.S. "Wasperton" off Muckle Flugga in the Shetland Islands and was ordered to accompany her to Lerwick. After some delay she complied. At no time was any attempt made to out-run "Wasperton" or carry off her boarding party and, despite language difficulties, relations between the parties remained good and no unpleasantness occurred. In view of public interest, a Press conference was held at Maritime Headquarters, Pitreavie, on the authority of the Flag Officer Scotland and Northern Ireland who was in charge of the operation throughout.