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"Aeolian Sky"

Volume 978: debated on Monday 11 February 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade what information he has on the number of canisters containing toxic chemicals which were on the sunken "Aeolian Sky"; how many have so far come ashore; and what organisations are responsible for the cost of disposing of them safely.

My Department holds a copy of the complete cargo manifest of the "Aeolian Sky", together with the list of declared dangerous substances.Responsibility for dealing with packages which are washed ashore lies with the local authorities. Reports received from them by my Department indicate that, up to 7 February, some 750 packages had recently been recovered in the Isle of Wight and on the neighbouring mainland coastline. However, not all of the contents of these packages were toxic, nor could they all be identified as coming from the "Aeolian Sky".The ordinary rules of law will apply to any attempts by the local authorities to recover their costs.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he is satisfied that the owners of the ship "Aeolian Sky" met all United Kingdom safety requirements for the carriage of dangerous chemicals before sailing on her last voyage; and if he considers any amendments to existing safety regulations are necessary.

I am satisfied that the "Aeolian Sky" had on board a dangerous goods cargo manifest as required by the relevant safety rules. My Department is examining a copy of this document together with the vessel's main cargo manifest in relation to the requirements of the rules. It is proposed to amend the Merchant Shipping (Dangerous Goods) Rules 1978 to require containers used for dangerous goods to be durably marked so as to remain identifiable following immersion for at least three months in sea water.