The Shetland Oil Disaster: Modern gear 'could have saved ship'

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The Independent Online
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Marine engineers said yesterday that an automatic tow line - standard equipment on more modern tankers - could have helped save the Braer from running aground. Chris Jenman, chairman of a London-based marine engineering consultancy called Global Maritime, said all Norwegian tankers working in the North Sea were fitted with tow lines which could be fired to tugs by the last person leaving the ship. Even if fired into the open sea, the line should float. It would be hard to pick up in rough weather, but better than no line at all. 'It woudl have been magic in this situation and very cheap. The probability of using it may be small, but it would be very likely to prive itself cost-effective', Mr Jenman said.