HC Deb 19 April 1995 vol 258 cc140-1W
Mr. Spearing

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if the collision at Tower bridge, London at 02.30 on 18 October 1981 between the pleasure launch Hurlingham and the overtaking dredger vessel Bowtrader was referred to in the report to him of his marine accident investigation branch into the collision between the Bowbelle and the Marchioness in August 1989; if he will list the date and nature of specific action taken by his Department consequent to that collision; what assessment was made by his responsible officials of the likelihood of its repetition; and what assessment he has made of the similarities and dissimilarities between the circumstances and consequences of that collision and that occurring near Southwark bridge on 20 August 1989; [19766]

(2) what action was taken by any part of his Department on, or in respect of, crafts or ships on the River Thames subsequent to the collision between the passenger launch Hurlingham and the dredger Bowtrader at 02.30 on 18 October 1981 in respect of (a) laden or unladen trim of such, or similar, dredgers, (b) communication between bow lookout and wheelhouses and the numbers and duties of bow lookouts and (c) standing or visible orders to be made by the vessel owners, operators or captains in respect of these matters. [19765]

Mr. Norris

[holding answer 18 April 1995]: The case of the collision between the pleasure launch Hurlingham and the dredger Bowtrader on 18 October 1981 is dealt with in annexe 11 of the chief inspector's report; the similarities and differences relating to earlier incidents are discussed in section 15 of the report. The incident was investigated by the casualty branch of the surveyor general's organisation and discussions held with the Port of London authority. The Department's surveyors were alerted to the problems of the view from the rear of the wheelhouse in vessels such as the Hurlingham and advised to consider this aspect in relation to survey and inspection of both new and existing vessels.