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Last minute (but temporary) reprieve for emergency tug

In a last minute reprieve, the UK Government has postponed plans to withdraw the Emergency Towing Vessel (ETVs) stationed around the Northern Isles.

The tug was due to be withdrawn from service at midnight on September 30, but will now remain in operation for at least another three months.

The Shetland branch of the PCS union, which represents members at the Shetland Coastguard Station, has given a cautious welcome to the news.

A spokesperson said: “We obviously welcome this news as the ETV is an extremely useful tool to have in our toolbox, particularly with winter fast approaching. Yet again the Government has been forced to acknowledge it got things wrong and hopefully this is a sign that they are now seeing sense. However, this is only a short-term measure and we urgently need something more permanent put in place.”