Highlands & Islands

'Beached' cargo ship Lysblink Seaways refloated

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Media captionThe Lysblink Seaways ran aground at full speed

A cargo ship that ran aground near Ardnamurchan Point in the west Highlands has been refloated on the high tide.

The Lysblink Seaways is now anchored close to where the grounding happened in the Sound of Mull.

The 394ft-long (120m) vessel got into difficulty at Kilchoan on Wednesday. An absorbent boom is in place to contain oil leaking from the vessel.

Divers have started inspecting the ship's hull for damage.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) had put in place a temporary exclusion zone of 328ft (100m) around the vessel.

The Lysblink Seaways was bound from Belfast to Skogn in Norway when it ran aground.

None of the nine-person crew was injured.

Image copyright MCA
Image caption The Lysblink Seaways has been anchored close to where it ran aground

The MCA said the vessel was stable, but still leaking a small amount of oil.

In a statement, the agency said: "There is a lot of salvage work still to be done and as a matter of urgency the dive inspection needs to be completed so that the full condition of the vessel is known.

"Equipment is still being brought to the site for the salvers but it is not easy to get to, making travel time longer.

"The weather is favourable for the work of the diving team today and it is hoped they will be able to complete the inspection."

Highland Council said it had received assurances from the Food Standards Agency and Marine Scotland that any risk to human health from eating local shellfish was "negligible".

A spokeswoman added: "The council will continue to monitor the situation until the vessel has been safely removed."

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