§ 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:
- (a) the submarine to come to periscope depth to check visually for any vessels in distress and establish communications where circumstances permit:
- (b) the naval authorities to be immediately informed of the incident and, if appropriate, the coastguard contacted;
- (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
- (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.