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Councils in Edinburgh for ETV talks

OIC convener, Councillor Stephen Hagan is taking part in multi-agency discussions with the Scotland Office, in Edinburgh today, on securing long-term cover by Emergency Towing Vessels (ETVs) for the waters surrounding the Northern and Western Isles.

The OIC, Shetland, Highland and Western Isles councils have led the campaign for retention of the tugs which resulted in the UK Government agreeing to a three-month extension of the service earlier this month.

Speaking ahead of the meeting Councillor Hagan said: “We are very encouraged by the Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore’s quick action in arranging this meeting with the key stakeholders.

“The Scotland Office has been tasked with finding a solution and devising a sustainable funding approach.

“As a Council we will be keeping up the pressure to maintain tug cover for the Highlands and Islands, to protect our coastline, our communities and the seas around us.

“Emergency towing vessels have a crucial role to play if a vessel gets into difficulties. It is vital that these powerful tugs are stationed in the Northern and Western Isles on a long-term basis.”