UK EEZ Shipping Risks and Emergency Towage Study Published

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Solis Marine was contracted by Frazer-Nash Consultancy to work with them on an independent review to quantify the risk of pollution from shipping passing through the UK Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the impact of Emergency Towage Vessels (ETVs) as a risk mitigation measure.

Commissioned by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), the study was initiated following a recommendation by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch to assess the risk to and from shipping in the Dover Strait, following their report into a shipping incident in November 2016.

The scope of the recommendation was expanded to include the entire EEZ to provide the MCA with a broad comprehension of risk within its waters, focusing on seven key shipping and environmentally sensitive geographical areas in particular.

The report is being used as part of an ongoing assessment for the future provision of ETVs, whose role is to intercept ships which have become disabled before they ground with the potential for environmental damage. While ETVs cannot always prevent an incident from occurring, risk assessments show that their presence mitigates some of the risk.

As part of the study, Solis Marine engaged with industry bodies, tug operators and brokers to establish the location, type, capability, and additional relevant functions of commercial towing vessels. In addition to this, a search of AIS data for towing vessels was carried out to understand the potential availability of transiting vessels.

The report’s recommendations were based on various factors including an assessment of the risk of incidents occurring; impact on the marine environment; regional marine economic dependency; the economic cost from an oil spill, and cost benefit analysis of emergency towage options.

The MCA is now working with the UK Government to assess the implications of the report’s recommendations.

To read the report click here

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