Monday, 23 February 2015

Lysblink Seaways - Day 6 Morning

The Lysblink Seaways is now securely anchored in the wide bay that runs eastwards from Mingary Pier to Maclean's Nose, with the Forth Jouster in attendance, but the weather has turned vicious. We've had near gale force west to southwesterly winds sweeping in heavy hail showers preceded by thunder and lightning. Shortly after six this morning the community's power supply failed and then recovered. To lose power now wouldn't be insuperable – the salvage people have plenty of back-up generator power with them.  The weather tomorrow looks even worse.

Picture shows the Spanish John II, a Mallaig boat which is being used to ferry supplies to and from the Lysblink Seaways, and the Kingdom of Fife off Mingary Pier. While the highest spring tides were two days ago, today's, at 4.7m and blown in by the wind, was unusually high.

In a press release yesterday, the MCA stated that the ship is extensively damaged along her bottom. Her fuel oil was only retained within the hull by the fact that it was floating on sea water. Hence their greatest concern while she was stranded was during low tide, when the sea withdrew. Despite this, oil leakage has been negligible, and the danger is further reduced now that the fuel has been pumped into the upper tanks. It will be removed from the ship as soon as possible.

Hugh Shaw of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency is the Secretary of State’s Representative in charge of the operation for the British government.  He was quite open about the challenges that have been faced over the last few days but was keen to emphasise the help all those working on the salvage operation have had from the local community. He said, “In the eight years I've been doing this job, I have never seen this level of support from a community. First class!”

The Lemon Tree tea room in the Community centre has been turned into an operations room, with food and drink made available. The facilities in HM Coastguard's hut have been in constant use by the salvage teams. The community in general, as it always does, has rallied round to provide as much assistance as possible.

Picture shows the Lysblink Seaways with the 13th century Mingary Castle, which is surrounded by scaffolding while it undergoes full refurbishment.


  1. thank you for all your news and fantastic Photos of Lysblink .Also the interesting Sea Creature,s and identification very helpful did early bird find them washed up with the high tide and did he find the tide much higher/lower was any thing washed away ?or exposed .

  2. See tug Luca approaching Pentland Firth heading Sound of Mull. Looks like next tug?

  3. Yes, Luca is the tug which will do the tow. Jon