HL Deb 10 March 1997 vol 579 c11WA
Lord Lyell

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What arrangements are being made for the provision of emergency towing vessels next winter.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Transport (Viscount Goschen)

Emergency towing vessels have been stationed, on a trial basis, in the Minches and Dover Strait for the last three winter periods and in the south west approaches this winter, following recommendations by Lord Donaldson and the emergency towing study team. A report of the first two years' trials has been published. Further analysis of the trials is to be undertaken so that the benefits of the provision of such government funded vessels can be fully assessed. Meanwhile the three vessels will be re-engaged to provide emergency cover for next winter in the same areas.