§ Mr. Barry Field
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what reports he has received of the collision off the Isle of Wight between the Kiwi Arrow and the Pelander; what were the weather conditions at the time of the collision; what assessment he has made of the bearing the Donaldson report has on the circumstances of this collision; what reports he has had from the port authorities where these two ships docked; if he intends to hold an inquiry; what representations he will be making to the International Maritime Organisation about this accident; what representations he is making to the ship registers of the two vessels; what reports he has received from his inspectors about these two vessels; what reports he has received from Her Majesty's Coastguard about this incident; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Norris
At the time of the collision between Kiwi Arrow and Pelander the sea was calm and visibility was approximately five nautical miles. The Solent coastguard responded immediately to the distress call, but both ships were able to proceed to Southampton under their own power. Two surveyors from the Marine Safety Agency carried out a port state control inspection of both ships to examine the damage.
As the incident occurred outside the United Kingdom's territorial waters and involved non-UK registered ships, the responsibility for accident investigation rests with the flag states of the Kiwi Arrow and Pelander. However, an inspector from the Marine Accident Investigation Branch visited the ships when in Southampton to obtain background information concerning the incident which has been sent to both administrations.
The flag states have been asked to advise of the outcome of an investigation into the causes of this accident. Under the provisions of the international conventions, any representations made to the International Maritime Organisation on the circumstances of this collision will be a matter for the flag states. The flag states have been asked to inform the MSA of the measures they intend to take to ensure that the ships comply with international requirements before departure. Neither ship will be permitted to leave Southampton until the MSA is satisfied that they are fit to proceed to sea.117W
Until the full facts of this incident are known and its causes established, it would be premature to make an assessment of any bearing the Donaldson report might have on the circumstances of the incident.
§ Mr. Barry Field
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what contact his Department has had with the French marine authorities about the collision between the Kiwi Arrow and the Pelander off the Isle of Wight; and what joint action channel marine countries and authorities can take to prevent incidents of this type. 
§ Mr. Norris
The collision was in the UK search and rescue region and the immediate response was coordinated accordingly by Solent coastguard. No assistance was sought from the French authorities because UK lifeboats and other vessels were in the vicinity and were available to render adequate assistance.
No contact with the French has been made since because neither Kiwi Arrow nor Pelander is registered under the French flag and the accident occurred in international waters.
The UK Government and marine authorities will continue to work closely with all our European partners, including our counterparts in the channel, in order to seek to eliminate incidents of this nature and to minimise the pollution of the seas and endangerment of life at sea. My Department, through the Coastguard Agency and the Marine Safety Agency, maintains regular contact with the French authorities about safety, search and rescue and counter-pollution matters in the English channel.