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Trials, Bristol Channel (Lights)

Volume 531: debated on Wednesday 28 July 1954

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asked the Minister of Supply if he is aware that naval men using Very lights on 19th July to signal aircraft during sea exercises in the Bristol Channel were the cause of calling out one of the lifeboats; and if he will arrange for closer co-operation with the lifeboat stations in the future to avoid unnecessary launchings.

Yes. I am aware of this incident, but no naval personnel were involved. Very lights were fired at St. Thomas' Head sea range on 19th July by the Ministry of Supply Torpedo Development Unit during trials. Unfortunately, contrary to the regulations, some lights of the wrong colour were fired. Steps have been taken with a view to ensuring that the regulations are observed in future and that the Weston-super-Mare lifeboat authorities are informed of the dates of trials involving such signals. An expression of our regret is being sent to the lifeboat authorities.