§ Mr. Stephen Ross
asked the Secretary of State for Trade what chemicals still remain to be accounted for from the wreck of the "Aeolian Sky"; what cargo is still contained within her hold; when it will be removed; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Tebbit
Conditions prevailing during the winter months make it extremely difficult and dangerous for divers to determine precisely what remains in the ship and what has been lost.
The best indications are, however, that all the chemical cargoes known to be stowed on deck have broken free but that the majority of the other chemical cargoes remain in the holds. This has been confirmed by two short duration dives which have been carried out to establish how the wreck lies on the bottom and to check the reported presence of foreign currency within the superstructure. Attempts to identify and locate cargo more precisely and to recover it from the ship would be a protracted operation and could not safely be undertaken until late spring.
The situation will be kept under close review and meanwhile my Department will maintain its present liaison with the local authorities affected.