date: 15 September 2011
embargo: For immediate release
Responding to the announcement today (Thursday) by Shipping Minister Mike Penning that the government will stop funding the maritime incident response group (MIRG) and the Emergency Towing Vessel Service (ETV), which were set up to ensure an effective response to serious incidents at sea, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:
'The government has greatly undervalued the importance of these services.
'The MIRG was established in response to two major oil spills on the UK coastline, whilst the ETV is called out to respond to about 180 incidents at sea each year. These systems have since become a model for disaster prevention in many other countries.
'We call on the minister to think again in order to ensure that people working at sea and our precious marine environment continue to be protected.'
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk
Issued: 15 September, 2011