To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement of the relative priorities of different tasks performed by marine surveyors both (a) before and (b) after the sinking of the Herald of Free Enterprise.
Statutory surveys are generally given first priority by marine surveyors but the safety inspections of United Kingdom and foreign ships are also given a high priority. Since the sinking of the Herald of Free Enterprise an increased proportion of surveyor effort has been directed towards the inspections of United Kingdom and foreign ro/ro passenger ferries.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information he has on (a) the total number of inspections completed by marine surveyors on the Herald of Free Enterprise, (b) the number completed in port, and (c) the number completed at sea in (i) the 10 years five months prior to its sailing and (ii) since its registration.
During the construction period of the Herald of Free Enterprise in Bremerhaven prior to the issue of the first passenger and safety certificate in May 180, numerous visits were made by marine surveyors from my Department. The vessel was first registered on 29 May 1980. Subsequently, the Herald of Free Enterprise was surveyed and certificated by marine surveyors from my Department as follows:
Passenger and Safety Certificate
Several visits to the ship were made in connection with each renewal of the passenger and safety certificate to survey the ship and her equipment.
Passenger and safety certificate surveys are conducted in port, apart from sea trials prior to the issue of the initial certificate, and the two surveys for extension of certificates noted above.