§ Mr. Spearing
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what surveys have been undertaken into the wreck of the trawler Ocean Hound(a) by the marine accident investigation branch and (b) by others; what action he has taken in respect of any discrepancy in the results of such surveys; and if he will make a statement concerning activity now in hand to determine the reason for the loss of this vessel and its crew on 11 August.
§ Mr. McLoughlin
On 20–21 August a remotely controlled video camera survey of the hull, which also included inspection by divers, was arranged jointly by the owners, P and I Club, and the marine accident investigation branch. On 19 September a camera survey of the complete wreck and the surrounding sea bed was commissioned by MAIB. A further camera survey by MAIB is planned for 16, 17 and 18 October.
On 3–4 September the owner of the vessel commissioned divers to search the wreck for the bodies of the crew. None was unfortunately found, and the next-of-kin arranged for another search by divers on 17 September. Again none was found. MAIB inspectors were present at both searches but took no part in the operations.
Although damage to the safety rails in the forepart of the vessel was reported by the divers who searched the wreck on behalf of the owner, the damage does not appear to be consistent with Ocean Hound having been in collision with another vessel. However, the possibility of collision has not been ruled out completely and it is hoped the next underwater survey will provide more evidence to help MAIB come to a firmer conclusion.