Tankers repeatedly straying out of bounds could be banned from Sullom Voe

Tankers that repeatedly encroach into “areas to be avoided” could be banned from calling at Sullom Voe Terminal, the council has warned.

A report before today’s (Tuesday) harbour board highlighted a number of recent infringements, forcing action to be taken.

The SIC has designated large swathes of the seas around Shetland as “areas to be avoided”, which applies to all vessels over 5,000 tonnes carrying, or capable of carrying, oil or other liquid hazardous cargoes in bulk.

Deputy harbourmaster Ben Clifton told board members that the infringements over the past year had seen the SIC issue letters to all agents representing tankers calling at SVT.

“The letter reminds them of the requirements to avoid this area and warns that further infringements may be met with that vessel being precluded from calling at the port,” he said.

Mr Clifton said the coastguard had also been called on to carry out increased monitoring of the areas.

The most recent infringement was recorded on 30th May when vessel traffic services contacted the tanker and directed her out of the area.

A safety inspection was carried out at the harbour no further issues were raised.

The SIC has created the areas to be avoided in recognition of the dangers in navigating around the Shetland coastline, due to offshore obstructions, strong tides, rapid weather changes and the presence of fishing vessels.

The council said it “vigorously discourages” navigation close to the Shetland coastline.


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