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Shipping: Sea Rescue

Volume 486: debated on Tuesday 13 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many tugs are on standby in UK ports to assist vessels in distress around the coast. (246096)

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has four dedicated emergency towing vessels on stand-by all year round to respond to shipping incidents. These are based in the Northern Isles, the Minches, the south-west approaches and the Dover Straits.

In addition to these dedicated resources the MCA can use the Coastguard Agreement on Salvage and Towage (CAST) to call upon the services of 92 tugs in ports and harbours throughout the UK.