§ Mr. McCusker
asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the contribution which an RAF aircraft made to the search for the fishermen drifting off the Galway coast of the Republic of Ireland.
§ Mr. Wellbeloved
On 24th June the Plymouth Rescue Co-ordination Centre—RCC—was asked by the neighbouring Shannon RCC for assistance in searching for an Irish fishing vessel which was believed to be missing off the west coast of Ireland in international waters in the Shannon RCC's search and rescue area. An RAF Nimrod from RAF St. Mawgan was tasked to search in the area on the same day and again on the following day; altogether some 13½ flying hours were involved. With the completion of this task, Shannon RCC advised that it required no further assistance. I understand that the vessel subsequently reached the coast of the Irish Republic under its own power, with all its crew on board on 26th June.