§ Mr. Maclennan
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the outcome of the United Kingdom search and rescue services committee's discussions on 29 April concerning the possibility of locating a helicopter rescue service at Stornoway, Isle of Lewis.
§ Mr. Ridley
The United Kingdom SAR committee met on 29 April and considered the level of helicopter coverage off north-west Scotland.
Although the committee was of the opinion that there was no case for any immediate redeployment of existing 405W SAR helicopter cover, it was made aware of the continuing trend towards greater fishing activity north and west of the Hebrides which may be beyond the effective range of present resources. Furthermore, better lifeboat cover of the area was deemed impractical.
Therefore, the committee agreed to refer the matter to a working group to study all aspects of the problem. The group, which is to consist of representatives of the Government Departments concerned, civil agencies and the fishing industry, was invited to make recommendations as soon as possible.