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Oil and gas industry worried over coastguard plans

THE OIL and gas industry’s representative body Oil & Gas UK has added its voice to the ever growing number of organisations critical of the planned changes to the maritime rescue services.

The organisation said the proposed downgrading of the Aberdeen coastguard station and the withdrawal of the emergency towing vessels from around the UK would have an impact on future offshore response during major incidents.

Oil & Gas UK’s health and safety manager, Bob Lauder, said: “Many years of constructive interaction between the oil and gas industry and the coastguard have established strong links and a rich body of local knowledge and experience in Aberdeen.

“Oil & Gas UK is therefore concerned about proposals to downgrade the Aberdeen Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre, as well as the cumulative impact of all the planned changes to maritime rescue services, including the immediate withdrawal of emergency towing vessels.

“In particular, the proposed staff reductions in Aberdeen raise concerns about whether the centre would have the capacity to respond effectively to a major offshore oil and gas incident.”

The organisation added that they would submit a response to the current MCA consultation, which closes on 6 October.