‘Lysblink Seaways’ Under Tow to Greenock, Scotland

The MV Lysblink Seaways aground on February 18, 2015. Photo: RNLI
The MV Lysblink Seaways aground on February 18, 2015. Photo: RNLI

The tow of the stricken MV Lysblink Seaways commenced Wednesday afternoon exactly two weeks after the ship ran aground along with western coast of Scotland.

The passage plan was approved by Hugh Shay, Secretary of State’s representative for Maritime Salvage and Intervention. The voyage covers 150 nautical miles from Scallastle Bay in the Sound of Mull to the Inchgreen ship repair facility in Greenock, Scotland, located on the Firth of Clyde.

“The tow will, where possible, take advantage of sheltered waters and will move through the Sound of Mull, Firth of Lorn, Sound of Jura and the North Channel before entering the Firth of Clyde,” said Shaw after approving the plan.

The MV Lysblink Seaways is being towed by the lead tug ‘Luca’, while the tug tug ‘Afon Menai’ is attached to the stern.

A Svitzer Salvage team remains onboard the vessel and will remain for the duration of the tow.

The tow was expected to commence Wednesday at 1300 local time, weather permitting. AIS data from MarineTraffic.com shows the Lysblink Seaways underway as of 1700 GMT.

The HM Coastguard vessel MCA Hunter is expected to provide safety cover between Scallastle Bay and the Firth of Lorn, the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency said. A temporary exclusion zone in Scallastle Bay, where the ship had been anchored, has been lifted, but another will be put into place until she enters the Sound of Jura, the MCA said.

The DFDS cargo ship MV Lysblink Seaways ran aground in Kilchoan, located on Scotland’s Ardnamurchan Peninsula, on February 18, causing the ship to leak an unspecified amount of oil. The vessel refloated about a day later and was towed to nearby anchorage, where the Svitzer Salvage team worked to remove all fuel oil from the vessel.

A Scottish Environment Group continues to monitor the situation.