The 2nd February 2012 will see the first anniversary of the arrival of the tugs Bonxie and Solan at Sullom Voe. Since then, to my knowledge, neither of the two tugs has been fully used in the mode for which they were built and at present they languish unused alongside the tug jetty at Sella Ness.
Contrary to what was claimed by Captain Roger Moore, executive manager SIC Ports & Harbours, a few months ago in The Shetland Times, all seven tugs built by Shetland Towage Ltd, the then tug operators at Sullom Voe, arrived from their builders fully operational and were ready for service within 24 hours of arrival. Any necessary modifications which came to light in subsequent service were taken care of without having to take the tugs out of use for any length of time.
In view of the above and the SIC’s seeming inability to do anything about the present situation without spending more public money, plus the fact that the harbour board and its officials must have been responsible for the original specification of these tugs, is it not time that a public inquiry was instigated, conducted by a body of marine professionals with a fully independent chairman, and if the result of such an inquiry showed the need for an apportionment of responsibility and blame for this sad affair, then so let it be? The people of Shetland deserve an explanation.
13 Gressy Loan,