Oil leak from container ship stranded in Highlands

MORE diesel oil has leaked from a container ship which ran aground on a shoreline with nine people on board.

The stranded Lysblink Seaways container ship at Kilchoan. 
Picture: PA
The stranded Lysblink Seaways container ship at Kilchoan. Picture: PA

Oil has leaked from the starboard side of Lysblink Seaways, which became stuck off Kilchoan near Ardnamurchan Point in the Highlands at about 2am yesterday.

A team from Svitzer Salvage is currently on board the vessel conducting a detailed damage assessment and two tugs are at the scene to support the salvage operation, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said.

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An absorbent boom has been put in to cope with the oil leak following discussions between the Secretary of State’s representative (Sosrep) Hugh Shaw and the MCA’s counter-pollution experts.

A temporary exclusion zone of 100 metres has been established around the ship.

There was also a leak from the vessel yesterday, which was described as being egg cup sized in volume.

No-one has been injured in the incident and the crew remain on board.

The 394ft vessel, which was carrying about 50 tonnes of paper products, was travelling from Belfast to Skogn in Norway when it ran aground.

In a statement, the ship’s owner DFDS said: “DFDS’s cargo container ship Lysblink Seaways ran aground yesterday morning near Ardnamurchan Point off the Scottish west coast.

“The ship is still aground and DFDS has hired salvage assistance and salvage vessels and tugboats are currently at the scene along with salvage experts.

“The grounding happened whilst the vessel was under way from Belfast to Skogn in Norway with about 50 tonnes of paper products on board.

“The vessel is 120 metres (394ft) long, is flying the UK flag and has a crew of nine.

“No persons have been injured during the incident, and the risk of pollution is, according to the UK authorities, considered to be very low.

“The salvage company and DFDS are currently working on getting the ship afloat.”

The tugs at the scene are Briggs Marine vessels Forth Jouster and Kingdom of Fife.

Initial findings and salvage options will be reported to the Sosrep and the wider Salvage Control Unit later this afternoon, the MCA said.

Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said yesterday evening: “The Scottish Government is liaising with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, who are working with local responders to manage the situation with the vessel Lysblink Seaways.”

He added: “We are monitoring the situation and stand ready to provide assistance if necessary.”