Leader calls for more ETV cover

Responding to the announcement of an Emergency Towing Vessel (ETV) to be based at Kirkwall the Leader of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has called for more cover for waters off the west of Scotland.

The UK Government yesterday (Monday 18 February) announced a new agreement with the oil industry to release one of BP’s vessels to respond to an incident in waters around Scotland.

An operational and commercial model has been brokered allowing HM Coastguard to call on a BP-chartered vessel, the Grampian Frontier, to provide support in the event of a pollution incident.

Comhairle Leader Angus Campbell said: “It is good news that the oil industry is taking a greater role in the provision of an ETV for the north of Scotland and the Secretary of State has done well to secure such a model. However this still leaves the west coast vulnerable to incidents. The original plan, in the event of securing a second tug, was to move the ‘Herakles’ further south to ensure adequate cover for the west and the Minches as far south as Mingulay.

“I will be seeking a meeting of the Scottish ETV Working Group to examine the issues around deployment arrangements.”