HC Deb 28 October 1976 vol 918 cc367-8W
Mr. Hooley

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what enforcement of emergency services for ships, rigs, structures, etc., will be required to cover an exclusive zone of 200 miles; and what new types of vessel will be required.

Mr. Duffy

Emergency service for ships, rigs and structures are the responsibility, in the first instance, of the owner of the property concerned; and the provision of emergency equipment is subject to regulation and to survey and inspection by Government Departments concerned. If an emergency required resources beyond the capability of those available to the owners or the police the Armed Forces could be called upon to provide assistance by the appropriate authorities. Such possibilities were taken into account when the decision was taken to order the new Island class of offshore patrol vessels for the Royal Navy—the first of which has already been com- missioned—and to allocate four RAF Nimrod aircraft for offshore duties from 1st January 1977.