KIMO UK has long believed that sufficient ETV (Emergency Towing Vessel) provision is an essential part of protecting our coastline and keeping our seas safe. Its members’ fears that the lack of adequate ETV coverage would lead to an environmental disaster came close to being a reality earlier today – and
until the Transocean Winner is safely at its destination it still may.
The 17,000 tonne oil rig went aground on Lewis earlier today with 280 tonnes of Diesel aboard. Its tow from the tug ALP Forward broke free overnight and the oil rig ran aground on the beach at Dalmore.
This could have, and should have, been prevented. The country’s last remaining state controlled Emergency Towing Vessel, The Herakles, is berthed in Kirkwall and took more than 18 hours to reach the scene – far too late to stop the rig running aground.
Whilst KIMO UK welcomed the news that the UK Government intends to fund an Emergency Towing Vessel for a further 5 years, this incident highlights that the current provision is just not enough to protect our mariners and coastline.
On behalf of Cllr. Raymond Christie, KIMO UK’s Chair, Graham Humphries (its National Coordinator) said “Whilst we welcome the UK Government’s announcement that it will fund an ETV for up to a further five years, this incident brings home just how much work is still ahead of us. One ETV sitting
in Kirkwall is clearly not enough”.
KIMO UK will now call upon the MCA to convene a meeting with stakeholders to review what is proposed in the light of this latest incident.
Graham Humphries, KIMO UK CoordinatorTel 07789 790775
Notes to Editors:
KIMO (Local Authorities International Environmental Organisation) is an association of
coastal local authorities whose goal is to eliminate pollution from the Northern Seas. The
organisation has more than 70 members in Belgium, United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden,
Denmark, Germany, Faeroe Islands and The Netherlands representing over 6 million people.
KIMO UK is the United Kingdom network of the organisation. Members include Comhairlie
nan Eilean Siar.