“ETV will not be reinstated off west coast”:Argyll and Bute MP Brendan O’Hara , together with Westminster colleagues Drew Hendry MP, Angus Brendan MacNeil, Dr Paul Monaghan and Ian Blackford MPs presented a petition to No.10 Downing Street this afternoon (Tuesday) calling on the UK Government to urgently reinstate an Emergency Towing Vessel (ETV) on the west coast of Scotland.
The petition, launched by Western Isles SNP councillors Rae Mackenzie and Gordon Murray last month, attracted almost 1,500 signatures in just a few days.
The ETV in Stornoway was removed in 2011 as a cost cutting exercise by the UK Government. Brendan O’Hara, 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.
Brendan O’Hara said: “The West Coast of Scotland has been left vulnerable in the absence of the ETV, as a maritime nation and representing a particularly remote maritime geography, having a tug at our disposal remains an insurance against what is an unlikely but equally plausible event.”
“Whilst the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) have concluded that a second tug vessel is not warranted, myself and my Highlands and Islands MP colleagues will continue to press the UK Government to re-think this matter. It was the UK Government’s decision to cut the ETV on the west coast and I hope that they will now listen to representations and take action to remedy this unfortunate situation.”
“Reinstating an ETV on the west coast, at a relatively small cost to the UK Government, will help to protect lives at sea and also safeguard our precious environment”