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HM Coastguard: Tugboats

Transport written question – answered on 24th January 2011.

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Photo of Angus MacNeil Angus MacNeil Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Constitutional Reform), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Scotland)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has for emergency ship towing after the removal of tugboats as a result of his proposed new structure for HM Coastguard.

Photo of Mike Penning Mike Penning The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport

The decision not to continue public funding of emergency towing vessels recognises that towage and salvage are matters that are properly the responsibility of ship owners and operators.

In relation to emergency ship towing, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) aims to meet all interested parties to discuss how incident management will be undertaken after the current contract for emergency towing vessels expires in September 2011. The first meeting has been arranged for Edinburgh on 4 March.

Although our decision not to renew the contract for emergency towing vessels, and the proposals I launched on 16 December for modernising the coastguard service, form part of the Department's response to the comprehensive spending review, the matters are not connected. Modernising the coastguard is about how best to provide a national search and rescue co-ordination service fit for the 21st century.

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