Well boat grounding: “The decision was made to evacuate”

Editorial staff

A well boat transporting fish for Scottish Sea Farms ran aground in the Kylerhea & Glenelg area on Tuesday, just a few miles from Mowi’s Kyleakin facility. 

Shetland-based Ocean Farm Services’ well boat Settler has run aground, SalmonBusiness reported on Tuesday.

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.

In a prompt response to a maritime distress call, the Kyle life boat sped to the rescue, launching at 6:45pm and reaching the site just ten minutes later.

Upon arrival, the crew made contact with the distressed vessel, confirming that there were no injuries on board. However, due to the quickly ebbing tide, the vessel was grounded firmly.

Read more: https://salmonbusiness.com/breaking-well-boat-runs-aground-in-scotland/

By 7:55pm, the Portree lifeboat also arrived at the scene. With the presence of multiple vessels offering their assistance, the decision was made to evacuate the crew from the grounded boat.

By shortly after 9:00pm, the crew was safely transferred to a neighbouring vessel. They await the next tide to make efforts to refloat their boat.

After ensuring the safety of the stranded crew, the lifeboats were dismissed from their duties.

Commenting on the evening’s events, Andrew MacDonald, a representative for Kyle RNLI Lifeboat, said, “The vessel found itself grounded around the time of high tide. So, by the time we and other vessels reached the scene, refloating the boat wasn’t an option. Prioritizing the crew’s safety, the decision was made to evacuate them overnight. Come the next high tide in the morning, efforts will be made to refloat the boat.”

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.

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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