Bid to free grounded container ship

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Published: Wednesday 18th February 2015 by The News Editor

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An operation is under way to free a container ship with nine people on board which has run aground off the west coast of Scotland.

The alarm was raised at around 2am today when Lysblink Seaways became stuck off Kilchoan near Ardnamurchan Point, Stornoway Coastguard said.

The ship, thought to be carrying paper, did not refloat at high tide.

Tugs are expected to be used to try to free it and Tobermory lifeboat is standing by at the scene.

No-one has been injured.

The RNLI said: “Tobermory RNLI’s volunteer crew launched the Severn class lifeboat, Elizabeth Fairlie Ramsey, shortly after 3am to go to the aid of the vessel which was hard aground on rocks close to the ferry slipway.

“On arriving at the scene, the lifeboat crew established that whilst the vessel had sustained damage and was taking on some water, it was not in imminent danger of sinking. There are no reports of any injuries to the crew.”

The 423ft vessel was travelling from Belfast to Skogn in Norway when it ran aground.

The crew remain on board, and there have been no reports of pollution.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has tasked emergency towing vessel Heracles to sail to the scene from the Orkney area. It is expected to arrive at around 2am tomorrow.

The vessel’s owners have appointed a salvage company and a commercial tug, which is thought to be heading to the area from Greenock, Inverclyde.

Published: Wednesday 18th February 2015 by The News Editor

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