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Lost Aircraft, Irish Sea (Search)

Volume 524: debated on Wednesday 3 March 1954

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asked the First Lord of the Admiralty what efforts were made by naval vessels to locate the Royal Air Force bomber and crew lost over the Irish Sea on 26th January last.

On receiving a report of the accident on the international distress frequency, Her Majesty's Ship "Romola" altered course and searched the vicinity of the reported position throughout the night. At first light she was joined by Her Majesty's Ship "Volage," the Trinity House vessel "Argus" and a number of merchant ships as well as aircraft, with "Romola" co-ordinating. During the afternoon Her Majesty's Ship "Perseus," joined in with her helicopters. At dusk the merchant ships were released from the search. Her Majesty's Ships "Perseus," "Romola" and "Volage" together with the Trinity House vessel "Argus," continued the search until 8 a.m. on the following day the 27th January. By then no hope remained of saving life and, by agreement with the Royal Air Force authorities, the sea search was abandoned.

May we have an assurance that no naval craft would have followed the shocking example of the Fleetwood trawler captain whose vessel picked up the body of an airman a few days after the unfortunate accident—

In view of the inadequate nature of the reply, I beg to give notice that I shall seek an opportunity to raise the matter at an early date.