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Pollution disaster fears as rescue tugs are ditched

Four tugs were put in place as a result of the oil spill from the tanker Braer Britain is abandoning its first line of defence against oil tanker pollution disasters, four ocean-going tugs stationed around the coastline to help vessels in distress.The four tugs, put in place as a result of the calamitous oil spill from the tanker Braer, which ran aground in Shetland in 1993, are to come out of service in a fortnight as part of the Government's public spending cuts.The move, which will save 8m a year - vastly less than the cost of dealing with any major oil spill - goes against the clear recommendations of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and is being described by concerned MPs as "inviting disaster" and "crazy".The Government hopes that commercial tug operators will fill the gap when needed, but there is great concern that while this may happen in the Channel and the Southwest Approaches, it will be impossible in Scotland's Northern and Western Isles - which are both the most environmentally sensitive waters around Britain and the most dangerous to shipping.The four tugs, or emergency towing vessels (ETVs), have been stationed since 1995, at public expense, in four ...

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Special Report on hijacked and missing tug boats and barges in Asia

Increase in such incidents over recent years The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre issued a Special Report on hijacked/missing tug boats and barges in Asia. Five incidents of hijacking and missing tug boats towing barges were reported during the period March-June 2011.This represents a significant increase in such incidents over recent years. Owners, operators, and masters of tugs operating in Asia should adopt best management practices to minimize the risk of hijacking.To view the Special Report please click hereSource: ReCAAP

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