Campaign for ETV to be reinstated

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A campaign to reinstate an Emergency Towing Vessel (ETV) on the west coast of Scotland is gathering pace.

Highlands & Islands MPs are to formally present a petition on the issue to 10 Downing Street.

In less than a month the petition launched by Western Isles SNP Councillors Rae Mackenzie and Gordon Murray has attracted almost 1,500 signatures.

The ETV in Stornoway was removed in 2011 as a cost cutting exercise by the UK Government.

Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil, together with his SNP colleagues at Westminster and local agencies, have argued that the west coast of Scotland has been left vulnerable in the event of an emergency at sea.

Mr MacNeil accepted the petition from Cllrs Rae Mackenzie and Gordon Murray, which he, together with Highland MPs, will formally present to 10 Downing Street on Tuesday 6th September.

Mr MacNeil said: “The UK Government must return the ETV to Stornoway - a tug is an insurance policy for an unusual, but possible event.

“I applaud all of the people who signed the petition. I am delighted to see the community get behind the many calls for the UK government to reinstate the Emergency Towing Vessel on the west coast of Scotland.”

Commenting Cllr Gordon Murray said: “The issue of replacing the emergency towing vessel has generated a lot of support not only on the west coast but nationally.

“People are rightly concerned that there is no protection for the west coast of Scotland and are urging Westminster to act before there is a disaster.

“The community has spoken – will Westminster listen?”

Pictured above is Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil receiving some of the signed petitions from Councillors Rae Mackenzie and Gordon Murray.