Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Lysblink Seaways - Dawn

The Lysblink Seaways sits on Rubha Aird an Iasgaich, the point just beyond the Cal Mac pier.  This view looks across Kilchoan Bay from Ormsaigbeg.

From the road down to the pier she looks as if she's neatly parked ready to unload - someone said, hopefully, crates of whisky.

It's when one is close to her that the full scale of the disaster is clear.  She's pivoting on her bow, the stern moving up and down, and the ship's rolling and grinding as the waves come in.

Since the main impact point was the bulbous bow, there's some chance that her fuel tanks haven't been ruptured but if, in the deterioration weather - some forecasts are now predicting gusts to gale force this afternoon - she swings so her hull crashes broadside against the rocks, we may have a serious problem.  On the other hand, if the tug gets here quickly and can hold her hull off the rocks, there seems a good chance of pulling her off on the early evening tide.  We're coming up to springs so it's a 4.4m high tide.

Meanwhile, it's business as usual.  The Cal Mac's Loch Linnhe came across on the Tobermory run, the lifeboat has departed back to Tobermory, Kilchoan Coastguard have been told they can't be called out for health and safety reasons - they're furious - and local people are coming down to enjoy the spectacle.

This wreck is the second in this part of the Sound of Mull in recent years.  In 2001 the Lys Foss went aground on Auliston Point in very similar circumstances.


  1. It's when events like this happen there should still be a coastguard tug on more local duties instead of cutting back.

  2. Coastguard tug Herakles not due to arrive until around 0500 Thurs.

  3. Looking at the map, and your Ships in the Sound features, why are so many ships like this using the Sound of Mull as a route way in the first place? It seems totally illogical to a non-seafaring person.

    1. Well, I am a seaman, and I don't understand it either. It's a complicated route, and abt. 6 nautical miles longer then the the normal outside passage.

  4. The TV reception is better or so I was told.

  5. Heck of a route from Belfast,for this type of ship...?

  6. I think it's a tradition of the shipping line. Lys-Line vessels have been using these routes between Norway and Ireland/Liverpool for about 40 years. Loking at the AIS you can see she went straight ahead and without reducing speed at the new rocks bouy. someone asleep on the bridge i fear!

  7. On this coast Spring tides flood north, the flood runs up the Firth of Lorn towards Loch Linnie. Turning north through past Lismore light into the sound of Mull. Timed correctly there are places where a ship can get a "lift" of 2 - 3 knots on the smoother inside route. Out west of Mull and north into the Minch about half a knot at springs is the greatest tide effect. From the obvious schedule, her skipper must have reckoned to be well north of Ardnamurchan point before the top of the flood tide approx 05.30 GMT today. At 14 knots on a flood tide with following wind last night it's possible negotiating Kyle Rhea before the ebb was attainable too ?

  8. Shocked and stunned that in this day and age this should ever happen. 2nd time for the same company in the same area in only this century. I pray it ends well

  9. The crew watching television, no doubt.