Heroic rescue as fire rages on feed barge off Scottish coast
The investigation to establish the cause of the blaze is ongoing.
An early morning blaze aboard a Cooke Aquaculture feed barge near the company’s West Fara farm was extinguished in a dramatic rescue operation on Monday.
Emergency services, including the Longhope lifeboat and the Orkney Islands Council’s tug Freya of Scapa, were mobilized after the MV Hoy Head reported the fire, according to BBC Radio Orkney. The council’s tug played a pivotal role in dousing the flames, bringing the situation under control by 8:40 am.
Cooke Aquaculture, in a statement on Monday, acknowledged the swift response: “The incident was quickly brought under control, and no-one was injured. We are working closely with the emergency services and an investigation is underway to establish the cause.”
The RNLI Longhope Lifeboat, which was first to reach the scene, took to social media to detail the role its crew played in ensuring the area was safe for the harbour tug’s arrival.
“Arriving on scene first, the RNLI lifeboat checked the area to ensure there were no hazards such as anchor lines that would impede the approach of the harbour tug which was on passage to the scene with firefighting apparatus,” the RNLI social media account detailed.
The fire, which left the barge extensively damaged, did not halt operations at the salmon farm. Cooke Aquaculture said that operations would continue via boat while they collaborate with emergency services to investigate the cause of the fire. A comprehensive report on the incident will be submitted to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.