asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he is aware that over 75 per cent. of all diving operations in the United Kingdom designated areas of the North Sea take place from foreign registered vessels and are therefore not subject to his Merchant Shipping (Diving Operations) Regulations which came into force on 1st March 1975; and if he will take action to meet this situation.
These regulations apply to operations from British vessels wherever they may be and from foreign vessels whilst operating in United Kingdom territorial waters. Prior to their coming into force, however, the United Kingdom Offshore Operators' Association agreed to recommend that its members should apply the regulations to all diving operations carried out on the United Kingdom Continental Shelf irrespective of the nationality of the vessels employed. Consideration is currently being given, in consultation with the operators, to ways in which divers suffering injury as a result of employment on a foreign vessel could if necessary obtain redress through courts in the United Kingdom.