Thursday, 26 November 2015

Lysblink Seaways - Can We Do Anything?

Following the MAIB report, and its recommendation that, since DFDS say they have taken steps to deal with all the issues raised in the report, no further action should be taken, I suppose the easiest reaction is to sit back and do nothing.

Our position isn't helped by our lack of a Community Council to take the lead. However, this shouldn't prevent us from writing to our other elected representatives, particularly to our MP, Ian Blackford, since matters such as this are reserved to Westminster.

I have written to him copying my email to local MSPs and some Highland Councillors for information. I asked that something be done to punish DFDS, mostly to deter a repeat of this sort of needless accident both by DFDS and by other ship owners. I'm pleased to say I heard back immediately from Dave Thompson, our Constituency MSP, assuring me that he and Ian Blackford MP are pursuing the case. I have also heard from Fergus Ewing, who says that he agrees with my concerns.

Since 2001, when the Lysfoss went aground on Auliston Point, we've also had the Fri Ocean go ashore 2.5km south of Tobermory in 2012. Both grounded for very similar reasons - an inadequate watch was being kept in the early hours of the morning. That's three ocean-going ships colliding with rocks within ten miles us in the last 15 years! How much longer can our luck hold - because if the worst happens, our creel fishing, our fish farms, and our tourist industry will be dead.

Please write to All you need to say is that you support him in any action he can take to prevent a repeat of this sort of accident. It helps if you copy the email to  And you don't have to live here to be concerned - something needs to be done about this nationwide.


  1. I will do and spread the word as much as I can. It's a beautiful place to live and holiday and as you say something terrible will happen one day and destroy the natural habitat and the lives of the locals.

  2. So Scotland has a zero tolerance for drink driving but not drink shipping? is it because there are no pedestrians or cyclists at sea?

  3. Ifyou are so concerned by shipping in the Sound I dont hear any moans about Cal Mac

  4. I agree with anonymous what about cruise ships naval ships and the ships for Glensanda give it a rest

  5. I have no 'moans' about CalMac or any other ships - I enjoy watching them pass - but I do think that shipowners whose ships go ashore should take responsibility when, as in the case of Lysblink Seaways, the report states that DFDS must have know that heavy drinking was occurring on the ship yet they did nothing to check it. The only action they seem to have taken is to sack the captain and the first officer - as usual, the blame is heaped onto the workers.

  6. Hi Jon,

    I have contacted Mr Blackford and Mr Thompson as you suggested; I am not a Kilchoan native, but as a regular visitor for the past few years I can say that both Kilchoan and the Ardnamurchan peninsular have become very dear to me and the members of my family.

    I wish you good luck in your efforts to ensure that accountability is achieved.

    Owen Stimpson,
    Mid Wales.