HC Deb 04 December 1989 vol 163 c62W
Mr. Menzies Campbell

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what instructions are given to submarine commanders regarding their conduct when their submarines become entangled in fishing nets.

Mr. Archie Hamilton

The guidance given to a submarine commander in the event of his vessel becoming entangled with the nets of a trawler is designed to ensure that the safety of human life is given paramount consideration.

The instructions require:

  1. (a) the submarine to come to periscope depth to check visually for any vessels in distress and establish communications where circumstances permit:
  2. (b) the naval authorities to be immediately informed of the incident and, if appropriate, the coastguard contacted;
  3. (c) that, if fishing nets are still attached to the submarine, every effort is to be made to recover them—if this is not possible a note of the position in which the gear was lost is to be taken; and
  4. (d) the submarine not to leave the area until it has been established beyond all reasonable doubt that no danger to human life exists as a result of the incident.

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