Breaking: Well boat runs aground in Scotland

Editorial staff

A well boat has run aground off the Isle of Skye in Scotland.

Shetland-based Ocean Farm Services’ well boat Settler ran aground on Tuesday.

The boat was recorded as stopped by maritime analytics provider, MarineTraffic which provides real-time information on the movements of ships.

The vessel was at Kylerhea, which is south of Kyle of Lochalsh and Kyleakin in the waters between the mainland near Glenelg and Skye.

The boat was navigating through the notorious narrows, approximately five miles from the Mowi pier at Kyleakin when she ran into trouble.

The Kylerhea narrows is a fast flowing stretch of water that has currents running through it at eight knots. Even experienced skippers can run into trouble in this area. In 2018, the local ferry ran aground in the rapid tide while carrying vehicles aboard.

Map: MarineTraffic

From its route it seems that the well boat had spent the last three days moving fish for Scottish Sea Farms and was sailing from the factory back to a site when it ran aground, according to data collected by business intelligence provider Aquafacts.

A spokesperson for Ocean Farm Services confirmed to SalmonBusiness the boat had run into trouble.

“This is an ongoing incident and we are in touch with authorities. All crew are safe and well,” they said.

“The vessel was not carrying fish at the time and there is no issue with crew welfare, and no pollution. Our main concern is that everyone on board is safe and well.”

Map: Aquafacts

Settler, launched in 2002 is a purpose built live fish carrier. Her carrying capacity is 650 tons, with a current draught of 4.8 meters. She measures 40.06 meters in length overall and 10 meters in width.

Ocean Farm Services was formed in 2018 as part of a merger of Shetland-based Aurora Marine and North Isles Marine.

The company recorded a turnover of £8.2 million (€9.5 million) for 2022, with profit before tax of £290,000 (€325,000) more than double that of the previous year.


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