At approximately 01:50 on Wednesday 18th February 2015 the DFDS 120mt cargo vessel, Lysblink Seaways, ran aground near to Ardnamurchan Point at Kilchoan Bay on the West Coast of Scotland.
The 7,500-tonne ship, carrying 50 tonnes of paper products, was travelling from Belfast to Skogn in Norway. Nine-crew were on board at the time of the grounding but no injuries were reported.
The Dutch salvage company, Svitzer, contracted Briggs Marine & Environmental Services to supply salvage support, vessels, diving equipment and emergency pollution responders and oil spill advisors. A team and equipment was immediately mobilised to the location, where they worked closely with Svitzer, the Secretary of State’s Representative (SOSREP), MCA, SEPA and local authorities to ensure the operation of removing fuel bunkers and the salvage of the casualty went without incident.
On the evening of Thursday 19th February the casualty unexpectedly re-floated and was taken into tow by Briggs Marine’s vessels, the Kingdom of Fife and Forth Jouster. The Lysblink was then safely anchored at Scallastle Bay in the Sound of Mull, with both vessels remaining close due to poor weather conditions and westerly gales.
A temporary exclusion zone of 100m was established around the vessel, whilst divers from Svitzer, assisted by a Briggs Diving Supervisor and dive spread, carried out the underwater inspections and all bunkers were transferred onto the Kingdom of Fife and Forth Jouster.
Once the weather abated, the SOSREP gave the green light for the casualty to be towed 150 nautical miles to Inchgreen ship repair facility in Greenock on the Firth of Clyde on Wednesday 4th March 2015.
The Briggs Environmental Team relocated to Greenock and once the vessel arrived into port, oil containment booms were deployed as a precaution, until the casualty could be moved into dry-dock.
Although this is a sad event for the vessel the cooperation between Svitzer, the MCA, Briggs, the Counter Pollution Agency, ITOF and other local and government agencies means a potentially challenging situation in an environmentally sensitive area has been abated, a great example of team work between many different organisations
Captain Bill Boyle
General Manager, Briggs Marine