A lifeboat had to be put on standby after a bulk tanker carrying more than 5,000 tons of sulphuric acid was left drifting near Orkney, according to the BBC.
The Maltese-registered West Sailor ignored advice from the coastguard and anchored in the Pentland Firth to carry out repairs.
But gale-force winds meant the ship, which was involved in another incident two months ago, started to drift.
The incident has led to calls to increase coastguard powers.
The ship's master informed coastguards that
he intended to stop in the Pentland Firth to carry out repairs on the cooling system.
They advised him that he should steam out of the firth before attempting the repairs.