SNP MSP Alasdair Allan has reiterated calls for the return of an emergency towing
vessel (ETV) to be permanently based in the Western Isles.
Alasdair Allan said the Transocean Winner incident raises questions about why the
nearest coastguard tug was 12 hours away in Orkney.
He said the investigation report reopens the debate about why the Maritime and Coastguard
agency removed the vessel from the west coast in the first place.
Mr Allan commented: “Anyone reading this thorough investigation will be left troubled.
“Although, in the case of the Transocean Winner, no lives were lost and there was
no significant environmental damage, the incident served to point to the huge danger
the island economy and environment would face, if ever a vessel carrying a large
amount of hazardous cargo found herself in a similar position.”
It is “deeply worrying” that the report suggests a number of the flaws “may not be
unusual in ocean towage.”
He added: “It is clear that the west coast of Scotland remains at risk of future
“Instead of seeing this incident as a wake-up call, the UK government has so far
been deaf to the collective calls of the industry, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and
Highlands and Islands MSPs and MPs for a second ETV based in the Western Isles.
“I hope this report now makes the UK government reconsider their position.”