§ Mr. RICHARD LAMBERT
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he can give any information respecting the collision between H.M.S. "Water-witch," whilst lying at anchor with her fires out at Singapore, on the 1st September, and the steam yacht "Sea-mew," which resulted in the sinking of the "Waterwitch" and the loss of two lives; whether any Court of Inquiry or court-martial has been held; and, if so, what was the cause of the accident and who was responsible for the disaster?
My right hon. Friend Las asked me to answer this question. The collision took place at about 11 a.m. on 1st September. The "Seamew" while returning to harbour ran into the "Waterwitch," which was lying at anchor off the North end of the harbour mole. The "Waterwitch" was badly damaged amidships on the port side, and sank in about 17 feet of water, while an attempt was being made to tow her to shallow; water. I regret to state that two lives were lost, a Marine and a Chinese servant being drowned when the vessel sank. A Board of Trade inquiry was held at Singapore on the 20th and 23rd of September. The report of the Court of Inquiry has not yet been received officially, but, if the account given in the local newspapers is correct, the Court found that the collision was caused by the default of the Captain, Chief Officer, and Chief Engineer of the "Seamew."