To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the incident in the Irish sea off Skerries, county Dublin, involving the trawler Contester and a Royal Navy vessel; and what communications have been received by Her Majesty's ambassador in Dublin over this incident.
§ Mr. Archie Hamilton
At 1830 hours on 12 September 1989, some 25 miles north-east of Dublin, a communications buoy being towed by a Royal Navy submarine became caught in the nets of the Irish fishing vessel Contester; the buoy wire parted shortly afterwards. The submarine came to periscope depth, made a very careful visual examination of Contester, which had been monitored on sonar throughout, and listened on radio circuits to ensure that all was well. Once it had been established that neither Contester nor any of the other fishing vessels in sight were in any difficulty, the submarine proceeded on her way.
The British embassy in Dublin has been in contact with the relevant authorities in the Irish Republic and has also received letters from interested organisations and individuals in connection with this incident.