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Iron Maiden Tragedy See Police Alter Policy

Existing inquiries discerning learnings of Iron Maiden rescue effort

The sinking of the Iron Maiden has already been subjected to two separate inquiries, a coronial inquiry is under way and in the wake of this and other operating debriefs the Search and Rescue Council has refined the way maritime searches will be coordinated in future.

Police are cooperating with all agencies to ensure that any necessary changes of the Search and Rescue system are put in place, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Steve Long said today.

Inquiries have so far been undertaken by the Maritime Safety Authority and the Transport Accident Investigation Commission.

"The first few hours of any search and rescue are difficult with often patchy and conflicting information. It is mischievous to use part of the information available in public debate when the full context has not been explored.

"The Coroner's hearing will collect all the evidence, question witnesses and experts and weigh matters up in context. The context is the important missing link from the current debate.

"If as a result of that there are recommendations about police practice we will, as always, take those fully on board and make whatever changes are necessary.

"Already the Search and Rescue Council, of which Police is already a member, has decided that all future maritime searches will be coordinated by the Rescue Coordination Centre.

"Work has been underway over the last two months to set in place the standard operating procedures to give effect to this. Police will continue to be a major resource to be deployed alongside other emergency services and Search and Rescue assets."

Mr Long noted that today the Maritime Safety Authority has reiterated its findings that the vessels sinking resulted from a number of factors which diminished the likely survivability of the crew before the SAR operation was launched.

Police also look forward to the release of the Transport Accident Investigation Commission report into the Iron Maiden in due course.

ENDS

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