A PRESSURE group has called for an independent investigation into the Valaris DS4 ship scandal that saw a major emergency operation mounted after it broke from its moorings.

Environmental activists The Friends of the Firth of Clyde have said a major incident 'was narrowly averted', one they claim could have led to loss of life and major pollution
It has been claimed that if the anchor on the vessel had not held amid the 70mph winds, then the ship was only 15-20 minutes away from striking the Isle of Cumbrae.
A group spokesperson said: "The incident raises important questions, and we ask what does it tell us about the suitability of the jetty for activities proposed in the Hunterston Master Plan?
"Last Tuesday a May Day distress call was issued by DS4 which had broken free from its mooring and was drifting without power into the deep water channel towards Great Cumbrae.
"It soon became clear that a major incident was unfurling at Hunterston jetty as DS8 also broken its moorings. It was only as a result of a number of chance circumstances and the swift action of the emergency services that the drill ships were not blown into open water and potentially onto the opposite shores of Cumbrae, with high environmental damage and potential loss of life. 
"The area around Hunterston is of high environmental value and has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
"To the alarm of onlooking residents in Fairlie, West Kilbride and Cumbrae, the serious incident continued, with DS4 held at anchor in the deep water channel and DS8 being held against the jetty by a group of tugs, overseen by a pilot boat and the coastguard, for a further six days until the vessels were returned to the jetty on Monday."
The group say lessons must be learned and have called for Peel's plans for the area to be reconsidered.
Their spokesperson added: "This incident is of major concern in its own right, but in the context of our well documented fears about the proposals put forward by ClydePorts, as part of Peel Ports and the wider Peel Group, to re-purpose Hunterston Terminal for oil rig decommissioning and as a Liquid Natural Gas Terminal, it takes on much greater significance.
"It provides evidence that local communities have every reason for serious safety and environmental concerns about the future use of the terminal.
"We have written to North Ayrshire Council and Marine Scotland asking for an urgent independent and transparent investigation."