Emergency Tug Withdrawal: Dot pressed For Copy Of Risk Assessment(s)

The Celtic League has written to both the UK Department of Transport (DOT) and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency asking them to furnish copies of any risk assessment(s) undertaken prior to the decision to announce the withdrawal of
emergency towing vessels (ETVs) around the British Isles.

ETVs were introduced fifteen years ago after a series of maritime disasters around Britain. The high powered emergency tugs are available to assist stricken vessels and also to address possible pollution incidents.

There is considerable unease in coastal communities, which have seen the consequences of maritime disasters such as the Sea Empress and Braer oil tanker pollution incidents, about the decision to terminate government ETV cover.

The Celtic League is attempting to ascertain if full risk assessments were undertaken prior to the DOT reaching the decision.

Copies of the correspondence are set out below:

“Phillip Naylor
Director of Maritime Services
Maritime and Coastguard Agency
Spring Place
105 Southampton Road
Hampshire SO15 1EG


Dear Mr Naylor,


I write further to our earlier correspondence in relation to this matter in which we registered our concern at the decision of the United Kingdom government to end this arrangement to provide ETVs at key location.

I am in receipt of your letter relating to the review process in respect of this matter and have e-mailed you today registering our interest in same.

However ahead of the review meeting it would be useful if the MCA could indicate the result of any risk assessment(s) undertaken prior to the decision to cease government ETV provision in September of this year.

I feel sure the United Kingdom government’s Department of Transport (to whom this letter is being copied) will not have taken such a key decision with all the implications that it has for both Maritime Safety and the safety of the
Marine Environment without that decision being adequately informed and resourced.

I look forward to hearing from you in due course.

Yours sincerely

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information”

“The Secretary of State for Transport
Rt Hon Phillip Hammond MP
Great Minster House
76 Marsham Street
London SW1P 4DR


Dear Minister,


I draw your attention to the attached correspondence to the MCA concerning the withdrawal of ETV provision due to take effect from September of this year.

I have asked the MCA to furnish a copy of the risk assessment undertaken which will of course have been needed prior to a decision of this nature so that the Department and you as Minister were adequately informed and resourced as to the implications for Maritime Safety of the changes mooted.

I am aware that the risk assessment may have been undertaken by your officials and hence I am duplicating the correspondence to you and if this is the case would be grateful for a copy of same.

Due to the tight timetable for these changes and the fact that MCA are somewhat speedily implementing a consultative review it would be helpful if you can forward any documentation without delay.

Yours sincerely

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information”

Related items on Celtic News here:


J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League


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