After considerable effort from KIMO and its members, the UK Government finally agreed to extend the provision of an Emergency Towing Vessel (ETV) for Scotland’s coastline, the Northern and Western Isles for a further five years and agreed to improvements in it operation.
The replacement contract includes for the implementation of many of the recommendations made during the discussions with stakeholders in the spring of 2016, including the requirement to patrol rather than remaining in port.
On 1 January 2017 the replacement ETV, the Ievoli Black, took up its duties based in Kirkwall. Although it is early days, the vessel has already spent some time patrolling and spent the best part of a week in the Northern Minches. KIMO UK will be watching its movements with interest in the coming months.
The UK Government continues to refuse to review the need for a second ETV. The 18 hours that the Herakles took to respond to the incident involving the Transocean Winner was a very real demonstration that the current patrol area is far too big for a single vessel. KIMO UK continues to press for a review of the number and position of ETVs required to protect our coastline and for, at the very least, the provision of a second vessel.