Local News for Wednesday 23rd November 2016
No tug decision ‘vindicated’ – MCA
The chief executive of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Sir Alan Massey, yesterday told a House of Commons committee that the decision to leave the West Coast of Scotland had been ‘vindicated’. His remarks came as the committee took evidence on the grounding of the Transocean Winner, the oil rig which went aground at Dalmore in August. After attending this week’s meeting, Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil said the west coast of Scotland remains unprotected and vulnerable. Despite the grounding of the rig, Sir Alan Massey told the House of Commons Transport Select Committee that it had been the right decision to reduce ETV provision in Scotland to just one vessel. The Committee was carrying out an evidence session into the Transocean incident at the request of Mr MacNeil, who said: “It was not surprising to hear the comments from the MCA yesterday, they do after all work for the UK Government. Sir Alan Massey said that it would take ‘very unfortunate circumstances of bad luck’ for the case for two ETVs in Scotland to be looked at again – the reality is that most maritime emergencies are ‘unfortunate circumstances of bad luck’ and that is when a tug would be required. The UK Government is playing fast and loose and crossing its fingers that statistically rare probabilities do not ever occur.” Isles MSP Alasdair Allan added his concern, saying that the remarks were completely misguided and defended Tory cuts rather than offering a justifiable reason for reducing the number of emergency towing vessels. Dr Allan said: "The grounding of the Transocean rig should be a wake-up call for industry. Towing rigs to places such as the Mediterranean for decommissioning is less safe, more harmful to the environment and more inefficient than decommissioning in Scottish ports."