Safety concerns have been raised by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch following the inquiry into the grounding of the Transocean Winner Oil Rig in the Western Isles last year and have led to renewed calls for the return of an Emergency Towing Vessel on the West Coast.
Angus MacNeil MP said:
“It is clearly concerning that the Transocean Winner got into this dangerous situation with an under powered tug and a tow line that was showing signs of wear and tear.
“The fact that this took place west of the Hebrides in such a bad forecast raises questions about whether authorisation should be mandatory for vessels in such areas.
“In this instance we are told that because the Transocean Winner was unmanned the Emergency Towing Vessel (ETV) would have been unable to assist but even if the rig had been manned the ETV would have taken too long to reach the scene.
“An ETV is an insurance policy and we need to be able to protect lives and the environment in the event of an incident, yet the UK Government continue to ‘penny pinch’ and turn a blind eye. We have no insurance policy in our islands and this is a huge concern.”