Written Answers. - Marine Accidents.

Austin Deasy

Question:

81 Mr. Deasy asked the Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources the reason for the delay in releasing the report on the sinking of the fishing vessel Jenalisa off the Waterford coast on 4 February 1996; and when he will be in a position to release this. [22463/98]

A report on the investigation into the sinking of the fishing vessel Jenalisa, undertaken by my Department's marine survey office, is being finalised at present and will be published shortly.

To ensure fair procedures and the adherence to principles of natural justice, the draft report into the investigation was subject to vetting by the Office of the Attorney General. In accordance with legal advice from that office, interested parties were recently afforded an opportunity to comment on the report with a view to inclusion of their comments as an appendix to the report. The report will be published as a matter of urgency.

I regret that progress in having this and indeed other marine casualty reports published has been slower than I would like. However, as I have previously indicated, I will shortly bring proposals to Government to address the recommendations in the report of the policy review group on Investigation of Marine Casualties. The key proposal is the establishment of a new statutory marine casualty investigation board with enhanced powers to investigate marine casualties and to expeditiously publish reports of the board's findings.