Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan has reiterated calls for the reinstatement of a dedicated Emergency Towing Vehicle (ETV) for the west coast of Scotland, following the near-grounding of a cargo vessel off the Western Isles.

Yesterday evening the cargo vessel Fame lost power off the west coast of Lewis and it was believed she was very likely to ground on either the Isle of Harris or North Uist.

When the ETV based in Orkney was quickly dispatched it was estimated to take 14 hours before she would arrive at the scene.
Alasdair Allan MSP commented:

“After the Transocean Winner oil rig washed up on the beach of Dalmore last year we were told there was still not a case for an additional ETV based on the west coast, and that the Orkney-based ETV would be undertaking regular patrols to the Western Isles instead. Last night’s incident shows this is not good enough to protect our coast.

“We should all be incredibly grateful for the dedication and skill of the Leverburgh and Stornoway lifeboat crews, who arrived promptly on the scene. However, we are very lucky that last night’s incident did not end with the grounding of a vessel on our shores and this needs to be taken seriously.

“If we look to Europe for a comparison, Germany with a coastline of 2,389km Germany has eight Emergency Towing Vehicles (ETVs) while the UK Government has left Scotland with just one, despite our coastline of 18,672km.

“I once again call upon the UK Government to live up to its maritime safety obligations and reinstate a dedicated ETV for the west coast of Scotland.”

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