Suffolk tourism chief's oil spill fears

Tanker off Suffolk coast Tankers can be seen off the Suffolk coast from Southwold pier

Related Stories

A tourism chief in Suffolk has warned that allowing oil transfers from ships to tankers off England's coast poses a serious threat to beaches and business.

Tim Passmore, chief executive of Choose Suffolk, said he had concerns over the practice and the potential hazards.

He said: "We do not need this kind of hazard with the tourist industry worth £1.25bn to Suffolk and struggling."

The government said new rules soon to be finalised would ensure the activities were strictly monitored.

"We've got to stop this nonsense because it could have a disastrous effect on all sorts of business and people's livelihoods," Mr Passmore said.

"From our perspective at Choose Suffolk it would be a catastrophe if we ended up with a huge oil spill.

Listen to concerns

"That would affect the whole East Anglian coast but especially the important resorts of Lowestoft and Southwold which would be devastated."

The government is consulting on new regulations for transfers.

Shipping minister Mike Penning said: "Ship-to-ship transfer operations have been common in UK waters for many years with a generally excellent safety record.

"Since my appointment I have been left in no doubt that this issue is of huge importance, both to local communities and to the industry.

"That is why I have taken time to listen to their concerns before deciding a way forward.

"These new regulations aim to strike a balance between supporting those who benefit from such operations and ensuring they are properly monitored and regulated."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Suffolk

Weather

Ipswich

Min. Night 9 °C

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.