§ Mr. Prescott
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will institute a preliminary inquiry into the loss of the vessel "Burtonia" to establish the reason for her loss, how many crew she was carrying and their individual certificates of nautical qualifications and sea-going experience; and what manning and crew qualifications are required under the Merchant Shipping Acts.
§ Mr. Onslow
I have learned with regret that the foundering of the "Burtonia" involved the loss of four of her crew of eight and I should like to express my sympathy to the relations of those who lost their lives. The "Burtonia" was operating within home trade limits and there are at present no specific requirements as to manning and certification of personnel for ships of this kind. I understand that all the crew had had sea-going experience; the master had a first-mate's foreign-going certificate and had served at sea since 1941 and the mate had held a skipper (full) certificate since 1961. My Department has already ordered a preliminary inquiry into this casualty and any further action will be decided in the light of its findings.