Comhairle continues case for West Coast based ETV

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Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is to continue the case, along with colleagues in neighbouring councils, for an Emergency Towing Vessel (ETV) to be based in the West of Scotland.

After the eighth storm of the season, Henry, battered the coasts of Scotland last week, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency have invited stakeholders to a meeting to discuss the future of Emergency Towing Vessel provision in the UK.

The move comes less than two months before the end of the current contract for the last remaining government funded ETV.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Convener, Cllr Norman MacDonald, will attend the meeting, which will take place in Edinburgh on 10th February, along with a range of stakeholders, including many of KIMO UK’s member authorities.

Ahead of the meeting he commented: “I believe that the number of incidents over the past few years highlight the very serious risks around our coastal waters.

“It is absolutely essential that we have an additional ETV, based on the west coast, so that we have adequate safety measures in place to respond swiftly to incidents, to protect lives and minimize the risk of environmental damage.

“We remain very concerned, as do colleagues in neighbouring councils, about the current situation - the suggestion that the north based ETV could also be removed when the current contract expires in two months, is quite frankly incomprehensible.

“What we need is additional provision; not a reduction.

“I will reiterate our strong belief that the north based tug contract should be renewed and we will urgently seek a reinstatement of a west coast based ETV.”