UK. Fishing vessels and cargos struggling against violent weather off Shetland

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Shetland Coastguard Requested the Lerwick Lifeboat to launch at 1.50 pm after the fishing vessel 'Shemarah II' went aground on a sandbank at Baltasound. A nearby fishing vessel 'Valhalla had attempted to tow the Shemarah off, but had then been forced aground itself. Whilst the lifeboat was on its way a further fishing vessel and creel boat offered their assistance and managed to tow the Valhalla off. However, the Valhalla had damaged sustained a damaged propeller during the incident and was forced to return to harbour. At 4.00 pm, the lifeboat managed to get a line on the Shemara II and the fishing vessel was towed clear of the sandbank. It is now alongside at Baltasound Pier in Unst. The lifeboat is currently making its way back to Lerwick, having stayed at Baltasound, waiting for the ferocious weather to abate.

At 4.45 pm this afternoon, Shetland Coastguard noticed that the Russian refrigerated cargo ship 'Sapphire' was in difficulty in the Fairisle Channel. The Coastguard had seen that the vessel was showing as 'not under command' on their Automatic Identification System. (AIS). When they contacted the captain of the vessel, he confirmed that the ship was having problems with its main engine. The vessel was 20 miles west-south-west of the island of Foula at the time. The Coastguard tug 'Anglian Sovereign' is making its way towards the vessel, although the crew of the Sapphire hope that they have now fixed the fault.

David Robinson, Shetland Coastguard Watch Manager says: "Weather conditions have been very challenging for all vessels today with violent storm force winds, gusting to hurricane force with severe showers, thunder and lightning."

Last Updated ( Saturday, 25 October 2008 )