§ Mr. Robert Hughes
asked the Secretary of State for Trade (1) if he will replace guidelines on stand-by safety vessels for North Sea oil operations by legally binding regulations;
(2) if he is satisfied with the standards and design of vessels employed as stand-by safety vessels for North Sea oil operations;
(3) if he will undertake a comprehensive review into standards of safety operations, including crew training, of stand-by safety vessels employed in North Sea oil operations.
§ Mr. Eyre
[pursuant to his reply, 5 May 1981, c. 16]: United Kingdom registered ships employed as stand-by vessels must comply with the appropriate safety regulations, made under the Merchant Shipping Acts, relating to structure, stability, fire fighting and life saving appliances. These statutory provisions, together with additional safety requirements concerning equipment, manning, crew fitness and qualifications, are incorporated in my Department's survey instructions for assessing the suitability and safety standards of stand-by vessels attending offshore installations, known as the "stand-by vessel code". The code, which can also be applied to foreign registered stand-by vessels, is reviewed and revised as necessary and I have no present proposals to introduce regulations.