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Highland Life / News / Highland Council News / Call for threat to be lifted on Minch emergency tug cover

Call for threat to be lifted on Minch emergency tug cover

Issued: 22 Oct 2010

The Chairman of The Highland Council's TEC Services Councillor John Laing has said that today's grounding of the HMS Astute off Skye highlighted the importance of the emergency tug cover that is provided from Stornoway.

The MCA tug from Stornoway has been called in to help free the nuclear submarine from the seabed near the Skye Bridge.

He said: "How ironic it is that only two days after the Government announced the end of funding for emergency tugs in the Highlands and Islands that the Stornoway tug is required to rescue the Royal Navy's newest and largest attack submarine.

"We have fought long and hard to have a tug service protect our shores and this incident brings into sharp focus the need for the tug at Stornoway. This is exactly the kind of incident that the tug is required for. It is unthinkable that the Government should be considering its withdrawal. This is a very timely reminder of the hugely important role these tugs play. To lose the tug service could be disastrous.

"I am in talks with my counterparts from the island councils to mount a joint campaign to persuade the Government to think again about this spending cutback.

"I hope that the matter can be raised as an emergency item at the Highland and Islands Convention being held in Orkney on Monday."

© 2010 Highland Public Services Partnership.
Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme