Scotland Calls for Emergency Towing Project Extension

 

 

 

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Emergency Towing VehicleThe cement carrier Cemfjord capsized and sank in the Pentland Firth with eight men on board on January 2.

Emergency Towing Vehicle provision should be reviewed immediately and extended beyond March 2016, Richard Lochhead, Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and Environment, said during the national marine plan debate.

This call comes as a result of the recent sinking of the Cemfjord and the grounding of a large cargo ship Lysblink Seaways at Ardnamurchan Point.

The UK Government must reassure maritime industries that emergency tug provision is available across Scotland’s waters including the Western Isles and the west coast of Scotland.

Marine industries bring approximately GBP 18 billion (USD 27.7bn) into the Scottish economy and there must be adequate provision to protect these interests and the marine environment itself.

”Our seas are vast, we have six times more water than land in Scotland and unfortunately incidents do happen. It is unacceptable that we have only one emergency towing vessel to cover the whole of the country. The UK Government cannot be allowed to gamble on Scotland’s marine environment,” Lochhead said.

”This is why the National Marine Plan is so important, it will put in place a single integrated framework which provides clarity but also allows for flexibility and adaptation when managing our seas.”