'Bowbelle' decisions get mixed reception
Relatives were 'extremely disappointed', however, by a rejection by John MacGregor, the Secretary of State for Transport, of a recommendation by an independent inquiry into river safety for a review of rescue arrangements and equipment on the Thames.
The inquiry, set up because of the disaster, was critical of the Department of Transport, saying that it 'lacked the vision and drive to lead the river marine industry into accepting that high safety standards and commercial success were compatible'.
Lord Caithness, the Minister for Aviation and Shipping, disclosed at a meeting with relatives after publication of the report that a prohibition order had been served on the Bowbelle earlier this year because visibility from its bridge did not meet merchant shipping regulations.
The Bowbelle's sister vessel, the Bow Trader, had since been voluntarily withdrawn from the Thames by its owner, he said.
Patrick Allen of the Marchioness Solicitors' Steering Group said: 'We have been saying for a long time that it was too dangerous to allow boats like the Bowbelle, which cannot see forward properly, to sail on the Thames.'
The inquiry, headed by John Hayes, secretary general of the Law Society, made 22 recommendations including more spot checks on vessels, the recruitment of more safety specialists by the Department of Transport and the introduction of breath tests for skippers and crews.
The report called on the department to 'take a much higher profile in promoting safety among a variety of fragmented operators and regulators'.
Mr MacGregor said that the further review recommended by the inquiry would not be justified, but added: 'Action is, however, being taken to ensure that the lessons from the Marchioness disaster have been fully assimilated.' He said that the report's recommendations were being carefully considered.
He was establishing a series of district marine safety committees throughout the country which would review for each area the way in which responsibilities for safety, rescue and accident prevention were distributed.
- 1 Replica Back to the Future Hoverboard released
- 2 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 3 Brixton squat flats now costing up to £3k per month show how out of control rent is in London
- 4 A new (old) cure for MRSA? Revolting recipe from the Dark Ages may be key to defeat infection
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
Costa Concordia: Shipment of Mob drugs was hidden aboard cruise liner when it hit rocks off Italian coast, investigators say
Brixton squat flats now costing up to £3k per month show how out of control rent is in London
A new (old) cure for MRSA? Revolting recipe from the Dark Ages may be key to defeat infection
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Germanwings crash: 'Andreas Lubitz planned to marry pregnant girlfriend', claims German report
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
£35000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...
£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing digital agenc...
£50000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a newly-created partne...
£35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior FF&E Project Co-ordinator is re...