Bute councillor calls for improved emergency towing cover

One of Bute’s three councillors is calling for better emergency towing cover for shipping emergencies on the west coast of Scotland.

Bute councillor Len Scoullar was reacting to news that petrol company BP has agreed to provide a Shetland-based tug for towing on an emergency basis where assistance is required.

Councillor Scoullar is chair of KIMO UK – the Local Authorities International Environmental Organisation.

KIMO is an association of coastal local authorities with the aim of eliminating pollution from the northern seas. The organisation welcomed the offer of assistance from BP, but remains concerned about the lack of emergency towing vessel cover on the Scottish west coast. KIMO is also seeking more information about the area to be covered by the BP vessel, its response times and what types of shipping incident it is able to respond to.

Councillor Scoullar said: “The announcement of emergency towing vessel assistance is a welcome one, but we must ensure that the west coast of Scotland, and the waters of Argyll and Bute, are also adequately protected.

“As both an Argyll and Bute councillor and chair of KIMO, I will continue to press for this assurance.”