HC Deb 04 July 1995 vol 263 cc121-2W
Mr. Flynn

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research his Department has carried out the levels of water that can be contained on the decks of roll-on roll-off ferries without hindering the use of the lifeboats; and at what levels of water the use of lifeboats is impeded. [31437]

Mr. Norris

[holding answer 3 July 1995]: This is an operational matter for the Marine Safety Agency. I have asked the chief executive to write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Susan J. Rooke to Mr. Paul Flynn, dated 4 July 1995: The Secretary of State for Transport has asked me to reply to your Question about research into roll-on roll-off passenger ferries' survivability and evacuation. Substantial research into the effect of water on the car deck on the stability of roll-on roll-off passenger ships, and their evacuation, has been conducted in the UK since the HERALD OF FREE ENTERPRISE and ESTONIA disasters. The International Maritime Organisation's Panel of Experts took account of this research in its study of ferry safety, and it has made proposals which would reduce the risk of rapid capsize. The Government supports these proposals, and we will continue to press for their adoption.

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