The Mekahnik Semakov which was carrying timber was drifting at the time, and the crew reported they needed an hour to fix their engine. The vessel was around 2.6 miles offshore from the at the time. The vessel was being constantly monitored from the Coastguard Centre on the Isle of Lewis on their automatic identification system (AIS) which reported the vessel drifting north eastwards at a rate of 0.3 knots.
The The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) Emergency Towing Vessel (ETV) Anglian Prince was sent to stand by the vessel whilst repairs were undertaken. The weather in the area was good at the time but increased winds were forecast as the day progressed.
However by 9:30 on Oct 22, the problem had not been resolved and the vessels owners was asked to ensure it had tug assistance as the Coastguard was concerned at its rate and direction of drift and the projected increase in wind rate.
As no tugs were in the immediate vicinity it was decided that the `Anglian Prince should undertake the tow and bring the Mekahnik Semakov to a safe anchorage at , Isle of Lewis.
By 12:30 pm the line was attached, and the ETV began to tow the vessel out of harms way to .