§ Mr. Arthur Lewis
asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will make a statement on the sea rescue by a Sea King helicopter from the RAF Station at Brawdy in South Wales when three Irish girls were rescued from "Casper I"; what were the total costs involved; and who will meet the cost of the operation.
§ Mr. Pattie
At the request of Her Majesty's Coastguard at Hartland, an RAF Sea King helicopter from 202 Squadron, RAF Brawdy, was scrambled twice during the night of 25–26 November to airlift crew and passengers from the Panamanian freighter "Casper I" which had developed engine failure, and was drifting on to the coast at Port Isaac, Cornwall. The first lift, at around midnight, comprised four men and five girls, who were taken to RAF St. Mawgan. The helicopter then remained at St. Mawgan on standby while the remaining three crew members tried to weather the storm. An hour later they were also lifted back to RAF St. Mawgan. The vessel subsequently foundered.
The extra expenses incurred in the rescue total approximately £2,200. These costs will be borne by Her Majesty's Government.