HC Deb 22 January 1998 vol 304 cc612-3W
Mr. Hancock

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what were the findings of the Marine Safety Agency's investigation into the recent crossing to Spain of the Pride of Bilbao; and what assessment he has made of the Agency's investigation. [24056]

Ms Glenda Jackson

I have asked the Chief Executive of the Marine Safety Agency, Mr. R.M. Bradley, to write to the hon. Member.

Letter from R. M. Bradley to Mr. Mike Hancock, dated 22 January 1998: The Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions has asked me to reply to your Question about the vessel "Pride of Bilbao". The vessel recently completed a voyage from Bilbao to Portsmouth in poor weather conditions which worsened as the passage continued. The Master of the vessel was subsequently interviewed by MSA officials. It was established from weather forecasts available at the outset of the voyage that it was not unreasonable, on safety grounds, for the voyage to commence. There were several slight injuries on board, the worst of which was a broken arm; no damage to the ship was sustained. All of the injuries sustained have been reported to the Marine Accident Investigation Branch for their consideration. The MSA is content that the Master did not put to sea in overly adverse conditions and did not compromise safety in any part of the voyage.