The funding of Anglian Sovereign is under discussion …

Comment posted Ship grounding demonstrates risk level for NW Scotland without ETV tugs by Local River Worker 2.

The funding of Anglian Sovereign is under discussion but there has been a commitment to have her stay on station covering the Northern Isles while discussions are ongoing. Presumably the MCA/UK government footing the bill as previous.

Local River Worker 2 also commented

  • I agree fully that an emergency towing capability needs to be retained in this region.
  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-17457235
  • There is no saving to be had over the removed ETVs from service. The government figures advised that £32m could be saved over 4.5 years by removing the 4 ETVs (circa £1.8m per vessel per year). This appears to be a true cost of operating such capable vessels.
  • The Northern Isles have retained an ETV and she mobilised to attend this grounded vessel although didn’t render towage support. I know which size of tug I would be happy to see come over the horizon mentally (you are correct) but in the cases of ASTUTE and YEOMAN BONTRUP they were just too large to render any useful towage assistance.
  • Unlikely to see an immediate resolve to this debate – it was always the understanding that the ETV would attend any vessel in difficulty as required. But utilising the ETV under the MCA agreement was a last resort (i.e. a commercial agreement could not be put in place that ensured life/environment and vessel integrity within an appropriate time scale). Where are we now if there is not an ETV and there cannot be a commercial agreement as commercial salvors (although invariably competitive) will now be in a much stronger position to push for lopsided commercial agreements and busy with there own regular paying customers. It would cost in the region of £1.4 – £2m annually to site a suitably sized commercial tug with specialist equipment in the area….. Not a huge amount and there are operators out there who would accommodate such an investment to include cash back if they go about commercial towage operations within an appropriate response area! This would then ensure availability at minimum cost. The current ETVs were not suited to a combination of towing (i.e. harbour/coastal) and therefore unsuitable in many situations (but suitable for they job they were in place to do – tow large tankers to avoid disaster). Modern powerful harbour/coastal tugs fit the bill rather than ocean going tugs.

Recent comments by Local River Worker 2

  • Coal boat adrift off Ireland since 1st February now tugged into the Clyde
    MV Cape Elise inbound for Hunterston is being towed due to electrical/mechanical difficulties and will go to No.6 anchorage until made good to berth at the coal terminal. 2 Clyde based Serco Damen 2909 tugs (SD Reliable and SD Resourceful) will be heading down from Faslane to assist the coastal tug UOS Liberty (which came round from Aberdeen) and JP Knights tug Kestrel (which came round from Invergordon) at the Cumbrae pilot station tomorrow morning.

    http://forums.clydemaritime.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=29875&p=58373&hilit=cape+elise#p58373

  • Councillor Freeman describes ‘flop’ demonstration at Faslane this morning
    Primarily the plan would be to reduce the Faslane foot print, make several thousand people working and living in Scotland redundant – reduce the amount of schools/teachers, community health organsisations required due to the rush of people out of the community. This would be devastating to the West coast of Scotland.

    Watch the cars leaving with Alba stickers on their rear bumper and relocating in the SW city of Plymouth, where they already refit these submarines, have a nuclear licence to operate as a nuclear facility and can simply base port a few surface ships in Portsmouth to free up the berth space.

    Come on people think about it – the largest employers on the West Coast is not going to hang a round to work out how the Government of the day will destroy their business.

    The yes campaign will sell its soul for the financial rewards of allowing Trident to stay at Faslane at the last minute because the growth forecasts will be woeful, unless they are banking on taxing all North Sea operators so much that it may not be viable to operate within the Scottish Economic Zone.

    Think people this may be the separation of the Union but certainly the devastation of Scotland.

  • Conundrum in Yeoman Bank’s anchoring off Machrihanish
    Tugs in the locale were made available to Aggregate Industries for the prompt berthing of Yeoman Bank at Glensanda and it was a business decision to have the repairs conducted prior to loading a cargo for passage.

    This ship was not posing any danger to life, environment or impeding a major shipping channel so would therefore not have been serviced by an ETV under the previous arrangements for a defective bow thruster (a common problem for ships).

    Good to see Clyde tugs supporting Aggregate Industries in a moment of need again.

  • Jackie Baillie MSP calls on SPT to ‘get a grip’ on Kilcreggan ferry situation
    councillor it is your job to represent you constituents not decide if and when you should represent them.
    If you couldn’t find the meeting effective you have described your own input brilliantly – our leaders should be able to guide debate not get bogged down in the pettiness.
    You have failed in this debate and have show so by not partaking – I’m furious by your lack of strength regarding this and you will fail to get me to vote on your/party behalf again.
    Where do you stand on Helensburgh CHORD – or is there a fence involved again when you feel this is necessary. Lets get it done before it never happens – a bunch of kids could have done better and quicker regarding the process given the authority. My major concern is the next thing we hear is appropriate funding is not in place and lets vote or consult again and again and again – then appropriate funding is not available – end of debate.
  • Jackie Baillie MSP calls on SPT to ‘get a grip’ on Kilcreggan ferry situation
    Happy with the subsidised method of SPTs affair, unhappy with how much this one particular route is subsidised……. Not difficult to realise when you hear 3 crew on a passage with no passengers regularly as I do.
    If the tide height at Helensburgh doesn’t work into the route; so be it. This cannot be changed and a bus return journey is better than a ferry aground off Helensburgh ‘obviously’.
    This route is not utilised to its fullest potential and will not be under the current structure so should therefore be wrapped up. No private company will operate this service as it cannot be profitable. We cannot afford to subsidise this route and many other things we continue to support. On the bus or in your car, it’s harsh but true.
    Generally no one visits Kilcgreggan or Gourock specifically so these are just thoroughfares. Lets get a service going from where it is required to a destination (Helensburgh to Greenock may be an idea) of note, this may almost pay off.
    I would catch that twice daily.
    Contact the MCA/MAIB reference any semanship/unsafe operations concerns, it is their job to follow this up.

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23 Responses to The funding of Anglian Sovereign is under discussion …

  1. There seems to have been a great deal of luck involved, given that the east coast of the Outer Hebrides is mostly rock – the crew of the Flinterspirit must have had the fright of their lives. That stretch of the North Uist coast seems to be a maze of islands, channels and numerous creeks and bays that dry out, so even a relatively small ship could do immense damage if it was left to break up on the rocks and the fuel tanks ruptured.

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  2. I agree that the withdrawal of the ETVs could be disastrous. But what will happen in an independent Scotland? If the UK, with more than 60 million people, cannot afford to keep them going, how will less than 6 million people be able to pay the bills?

    I am, I know, quite naive about these things.

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    • Put a toll booth at each end of the Minch ?
      We need a deep water tug, it’s an insurance policy against disaster.
      Living on Tiree if the weather is bad out in the Atlantic we get our fair share of bulk carriers and tankers in the Minch and even in the Sea of Tiree…we have ferries serving the Western Isles and Inner hebrides … this is a basic necessity…as soon as we have an environmental disaster, or folk die I would like to see the name of the persons who said no to a DWT…dragged through the courts for environmental damage or worse, corprate manslaughter…
      Scotland is a business, if you are going to run a business you have responsibilities that cost hard cash. This is one such case.
      Most likely that at a later date the Scottish Government will expect the Renewables industry to foot the bill..

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  3. If you charge the ship owners some kind of Minch ‘toll’ they are likely to avoid it by routing West of the Hebrides, where they are going to be on a lee shore and even further from help in the event of engine, steering or navigational failure.

    I agree 100% with Karl on this – it is an unavoidable cost. How it is funded is open to debate, but whether or not to have the facility isn’t. Unfortunately it is not a devolved matter.

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  4. Unlikely to see an immediate resolve to this debate – it was always the understanding that the ETV would attend any vessel in difficulty as required. But utilising the ETV under the MCA agreement was a last resort (i.e. a commercial agreement could not be put in place that ensured life/environment and vessel integrity within an appropriate time scale). Where are we now if there is not an ETV and there cannot be a commercial agreement as commercial salvors (although invariably competitive) will now be in a much stronger position to push for lopsided commercial agreements and busy with there own regular paying customers. It would cost in the region of £1.4 – £2m annually to site a suitably sized commercial tug with specialist equipment in the area….. Not a huge amount and there are operators out there who would accommodate such an investment to include cash back if they go about commercial towage operations within an appropriate response area! This would then ensure availability at minimum cost. The current ETVs were not suited to a combination of towing (i.e. harbour/coastal) and therefore unsuitable in many situations (but suitable for they job they were in place to do – tow large tankers to avoid disaster). Modern powerful harbour/coastal tugs fit the bill rather than ocean going tugs.

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    • This is all very interesting.

      Given the sort of costs you’re talking about to locate a commercial harbour/coastal tug in these waters – and without the further possibility of cash-back if the tug did some commercial ops – how much would this save on the costs quoted by MCA to retain each ETV?

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      • There is no saving to be had over the removed ETVs from service. The government figures advised that £32m could be saved over 4.5 years by removing the 4 ETVs (circa £1.8m per vessel per year). This appears to be a true cost of operating such capable vessels.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • About 2 million was given to Malawi…THE Scottish Government spent more than £2 million in its aborted attempt to attract a private bidder to build the Borders railway…What is even more amazing is that Edinburgh council have bought 27 trams costing 2m a piece …and don’t have a bloody tramway to put them on..(hysterical laughter as I write this…) The Scottish Executive has already committed to provide up to £500 million for Phase 1a of the project and
      CEC a further £45 million. A total of £79 million was spent on the project up to the end of May 2007, which includes £17 million to take the two Bills through the Parliamentary process….(err 17 million…somebody is milking this cow!)
      Now they plan to spend 28 million on super fast internet for Edinburgh….And why the hell spend 20million on ‘Modernisation of the prison estate’ folks in prison have done wrong…if they are not happy with their surroundings they have one ooptions…don’t break the law…
      What a state of affairs… give me a break.

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  5. The Northern Isles have retained an ETV and she mobilised to attend this grounded vessel although didn’t render towage support. I know which size of tug I would be happy to see come over the horizon mentally (you are correct) but in the cases of ASTUTE and YEOMAN BONTRUP they were just too large to render any useful towage assistance.

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    • So have Orkney and Shetland made an independent arrangement to fund an ETV between them? We assume this is Anglina Sovereign, the tug that stood by while MV Flinterspirit was escorted to Stornoway.
      Is the two councils who are paying for this service and do you happen to know roughly how much?

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      • The funding of Anglian Sovereign is under discussion but there has been a commitment to have her stay on station covering the Northern Isles while discussions are ongoing. Presumably the MCA/UK government footing the bill as previous.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. I think the £6 million that the Scottish Government has given to the Land Fund for community buy-outs would be better spent providing a permanent ETV tug for the Minch, West Coast and Western Isles.

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    • Why should community buy outs be jeopardised? Go and visit Knoydart, and then tell us that you think the land fund should be sacrificed because the government is incapable of understanding the potential risk of massive environmental damage in the event of a shipwreck – the same government that has better uses for the Crown Estate’s Scottish marine tax revenue than to invest some of it in this safeguard.

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