Hours before the deadline for their withdrawal the emergency towing capacity provided by ETVs stationed off the North and West of Scotland is to be retained.
There has been a vigorous campaign by NGOs to retain the ETV provision which was put in place after several environmental disasters two decades ago.
The Celtic League was one of a large number of organisations which protested against the decision to withdraw the ETV provision and were pleased when the government responded by establishing an ETV Working Group. We obviously welcome the change of heart by the UK government.
However at this stage the reprieve is only temporary with funding provided for just three further months. This would see the ETV cover cease right in the middle of winter in the most critical period.
It is also unclear at this stage if all four ETVs are to be retained as part of this short term move or if the reprieve only applies to the Scottish based vessels covering Orkney/Shetland and the Minch.
Obviously any cancellation of the contract of vessels covering the SW approaches would leave coastal communities in S Wales and Cornwall still at risk.
The Celtic League has emailed the MCA contact from the ETV working group to seek clarification.
Related articles on Celtic News here:
(This article prepared for Celtic News by Bernard Moffatt)
For comment or clarification on this news item in the first instance contact:
Rhisiart Tal-e-bot, General Secretary, Celtic League:
Tel: 0044 (0)1209 319912
M: 0044 (0)7787318666
The General Secretary will determine the appropriate branch or General Council Officer to respond to your query.
ISSUED BY THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE.