The palletised cargo ship Skog, a frequent visitor to the Sound of Mull, suffered engine failure to the east of the Orkneys on Tuesday following a cooling water problem. She was taking on water in the engine room at a rate of 500 litres per hour and had only emergency power but no propulsion.
The Stromness lifeboat attended, pumps were put on board, Skog was taken in tow by the tug Herakles and is now safely anchored off Kirkwall. There are pictures on the BBC website here.
The Coastguard tug Herakles is stationed in northern waters for just this sort of emergency. Along the west coast of Scotland, we have no such emergency tug.