§ Mr. Foulkes
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what action he is taking to examine why his Department's report on the foundering of motor fishing vessel Inspire on 5 September 1988 does not mention that a mayday call to the coastguard was made at about 3 pm on 5 September and not acted upon; whether he will institute a further inquiry to establish the true facts, circumstances and cause of the loss, taking account of all the information made available at last week's inquest; whether he will consider if any disciplinary action is appropriate; if he will examine the effect of the delay on the fate of the fishermen and whether any recompense to their families is appropriate as a result; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Portillo
The Department's report does mention the call which was sent. Paragraph 6.8 of the report says17WWhen he(Mr. Skinner, the sole survivor)knew the boat was sinking he sent a distress signal over the VHF but had no time to give a position as the boat turned over upside down. This call evoked no response.
The Department's inquiries included examination of why this was so, and found that no call recognisable as a distress call from the Inspire was received by Her Majesty's Coastguard. No delay was found in search and rescue once the alarm was raised, and I note that at the inquest the coroner saidThe Coastguard acted with promptness and efficiency. No question of disciplinary action or of recompense because of delay therefore arises.
The inspector carried out a most thorough investiga-tion into the casualty, and I am satisfied with his conclusions as to its cause. There is no intention of ordering any further inquiry.