Salvage Plan Approved for Cargo Ship Aground on Pentland Skerries

The 89-meter M/V Priscilla aground on the Pentland Skerries in the Pentland Firth. Photo credit: RNLI

Officials in the U.K. have approved the salvage plan for the cargo ship M/V Priscilla which remains hard aground on the Pentland Skerries off the coast of Scotland.

The 89-meter Netherlands registered cargo ship ran aground in the Pentland Firth off Scotland last Wednesday, 18 July 2018, and initial to refloat the vessel were unsuccessful.

The vessel continues to be in stable condition and no pollution has been reported.

All six crew members remain on board the vessel and are reported as safe and well.

The U.K. Maritime & Coastguard Agency reported Monday that Acting SOSRep for Maritime Salvage and Intervention, Hugh Shaw, approved a salvage plan from the appointed salvors, consisting of Multraship, Ardent, and Wagenborg.

The Coastguard reports that the vessel is carrying 52 tonnes of Marine Gas Oil (MGO), 4 tonnes of Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO), 2 tonnes of Lubricating Oil (LO) and has a cargo of 3,300 tonnes of bulk fertilizer in one cargo hold.

No pollution has been reported, however, as a precautionary measure, it has been agreed to remove up to 35 tonnes of the MGO.

The Heavy Fuel Oil is reported to be solidified and contained in a tank with no heating, and there no attempt will be made to remove this product. The LO and remaining MGO will remain on board for ship services.

According to the salvage plan submitted, the re-float operation will consist of several steps beginning with the removal of approximately 1,350 tonnes of cargo onto barges and pressurization of the cargo tanks. The vessel will then be de-ballasted and re-floated during high water and towed to a safe location.

The operation is contingent on weather, sea state and tidal forces.

A Temporary Exclusion Zone (TEZ) has been extended to 1,000 meters around the casualty due to the increased activity around the vessel once salvage operations start commence.

The U.K. MAIB has commenced an investigation into the accident.