HL Deb 06 March 1995 vol 562 cc2-3WA
Lord Brougham and Vaux

askedHer Majesty's Government:

When they expect to complete their consideration on the Chief Inspector of Marine Accident's assessment of the material provided by the International Transport Workers Federation following their location of the wreckage of the "Derbyshire".

Viscount Goschen:

The Formal Investigation in 1987 into the loss of the "Derbyshire" decided that … "the DERBYSHIRE was probably overwhelmed by the forces of nature in Typhoon Orchid … ", and added that "the evidence available does not support any firmer conclusion". Subsequently, in June 1994 the wreckage of the "Derbyshire" was found during an ITF sponsored search. The Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents has examined the evidence submitted to him by ITF and has advised us that the evidence still does not allow the cause of the "Derbyshire's" loss to be determined.

We have decided, therefore, that an assessment should be made of what further work might be undertaken to seek to determine the actual cause of the loss of the "Derbyshire", together with assessments of the costs involved, the likelihood of establishing the cause, and the likely benefits to ship safety. We have asked the right honourable Lord Donaldson of Lymington to undertake these assessments with the following terms of reference:

To assess—

  • — what further work would be needed in order to learn more of and, if possible, make a judgment about the cause of the loss of the "Derbyshire".
  • — in respect of each option for further work the assessed probability that the cause could be determined with reasonable confidence
  • — for each option the costs likely to be incurred
  • — what benefit to ship safety would be secured if the cause of the loss of the "Derbyshire" were established, or if better understanding of the cause of the loss was obtained, and whether in either case this would justify the likely costs involved.

A technical assessor will he appointed to assist Lord Donaldson. Lord Donaldson's report to us will be published.