HC Deb 07 February 1939 vol 343 c741
31. Mr. R. J. Taylor

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the heroism of the Blyth Volunteer Lifesaving Brigade in saving the lives of the master and two of the crew of the coasting steamer "Skary" which grounded on Cambois Beach, Northumberland, early on the morning of 24th December; whether he is aware that the efforts to get contact between the shore and the ship continued from approximately 11 o'clock on 23rd December to 3 o'clock on the morning of 24th December; and, in view of the difficulty which often obtains of establishing contact from the shore and of the comparative ease with which contact could be made from the ship to the shore, is he contemplating the advisability of making it compulsory for all ships to carry line-throwing guns or similar apparatus?

Mr. Stanley

Yes, Sir. The Board of Trade highly appreciate the work done by the Blyth Volunteer Life Saving Brigade. The question of the compulsory equipment of ships with line-throwing appliances has recently been under consideration and, following a recommendation of the Merchant Shipping Advisory Committee, new statutory rules have been issued under which, as from 1st January, 1939, all sea-going passenger ships whatever their tonnage and all sea-going cargo ships of 80 tons gross and upwards must carry an approved line-throwing appliance.