Petition to reinstate ETV Tug

A petition demanding that the UK Government reinstate an Emergency Towing Vessel (ETV) on the west coast of Scotland has been launched.

Western Isles Councillors Rae Mackenzie and Gordon Murray have created a petition which has already attracted many signatures and is available to sign online ( and in various outlets.

Cllr Rae Mackenzie said: “The UK Government has repeatedly ignored warnings regarding the dangers of not having an ETV based on the west coast. Last night’s incident off the Isle of Lewis was a perfect illustration of what can go wrong when a major incident takes place and the only ETV is based in the Northern Isles.

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“The tug in this case was scheduled to take a least 14 hours to reach the site which was far too late as by this time the oil rig had grounded.

“Many communities and political representatives on the west coast of Scotland have repeatedly made representations to the UK Government for the return of a second tug based in Stornoway.

“This has fallen on deaf ears and now we see the consequences. Thankfully in this case there was no loss of life but there could very well be a much more serious incident in the future involving a passenger ship or large tanker.”