A major recovery operation has been launched to recover a leaking cargo ship which ran aground on Scotland's west coast.
Salvage vessels were called to Kilchoan near Ardnamurchan Point after the Lysblink Seaways became stranded at around 2am on Wednesday. No one was injured in the stranding, but oil had begun to leak from the Seaways.
“Shortly before 9pm on Thursday the grounded vessel Lysblink Seaways self-floated from the foreshore at Kilchoan,” it confirmed.
A team from Svitzer Salvage is currently on board the vessel conducting a detailed damage assessment and two tugs are at the scene to support the salvage operation, MCA said.
An absorbent boom has been put in to cope with the oil leak following discussions between the Secretary of State’s representative (Sosrep) Hugh Shaw
and the MCA’s counter-pollution experts.
A temporary exclusion zone of 100 metres has been established around the ship.
There was also a leak from the vessel yesterday, which was described as being egg cup sized in volume.
The 394ft vessel, which was carrying about 50 tonnes of paper products, was travelling from Belfast to Skogn in Norway when it ran aground.
In a statement, the ship’s owner DFDS said: “DFDS’s cargo container ship Lysblink Seaways ran aground yesterday morning near Ardnamurchan Point off the Scottish west coast.
The incident has reignited the political row over the removal of emergency tugs from the west coast. Former Highland Council leader Michael Foxley, who represented Ardnamurchan and Morvern for almost three decades as a councillor, said: "Do we have to wait for a catastrophe before something is done?