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Shipping: Safety

Transport written question – answered on 2nd November 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 estimate she has made of the number of emergency towing vessels that can be spot-purchased.

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

holding answer 13 October 2011

It is not possible to estimate or accurately forecast the number of emergency towing vessels available at either a suitable time or place to service a spot-purchase when needed.

The principal towage and salvage brokers monitor the towage market continually and track the availability of tugs.

The brokers provide the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) with real-time information that they can use when coordinating a response to drifting and disabled ships.

Since 1 October 2011 the Scotland Office has been responsible for leading efforts to secure a long-term replacement for the emergency towing vessel (ETV) service in waters around Scotland surrounding the Northern and Western Isles.

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