§ Mr. Foulkes
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he has received concerning the loss of the fishing vessel Copia; what help he is able to provide with the recovery of the bodies of the crew; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Hanley
My noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence wrote on 14 March in response to the hon. Member's earlier representation about the loss of the fishing vessel Copia on 14 December 1993. Responsibility for investigating fatal accidents in Scotland rests with my noble and learned Friend the Lord Advocate, through his local representative, the procurator fiscal.
The investigation into the loss of the fishing vessel Copia is being conducted on the procurator fiscal's behalf by Strathclyde police and it is a matter for the procurator fiscal to decide upon what action is necessary to pursue his inquiries. The marine accident investigation branch of the Department of Transport is also investigating the incident. We are in this, as in other cases, to provide assistance should we be asked to do so.