A detailed cost benefit analysis commissioned by the UK government has concluded there is no economic justification for investment and upkeep of additional dedicated emergency towage vessels (ETV) in its waters.

The findings are particularly relevant as recent casualties — such as the grounding of the Wakashio (built 2007) and the blaze on the 300,000-dwt VLCC New Diamond (built 2000) — have revealed national coastlines are under threat from pollution and wrecks despite improvements in ship safety.