§ Mr. Bidwell
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department why the five Indian seamen rescued by lifeboat from the "Athina B" were examined by immigration officers within 12 hours of landing; whether the remaining crew members were interviewed after landing; and, if so, how soon after they landed.
§ Mr. Raison
Shortly after some members of the crew of the "Athina B" had been brought to land on 21 January, the immigration officer made a preliminary assessment of all the crew from documentary and other evidence made available to him. At this stage it was still hoped that the vessel would reach harbour. He decided to interview five of the members of the crew who had landed, because it was not clear whether they were professional seamen. The remainder of the landed crew he treated as being on shore leave. Later in the evening the vessel was beached and the remaining crew were taken off. All the crew except the five who had already been interviewed were examined the following afternoon in connection with their repatriation.