Highlands & Islands

Cargo ship Lysblink Seaways under tow to Greenock

Lysblink Seaways Image copyright PA
Image caption Fuel was removed from the Lysblink Seaways in the days after it grounded

A cargo ship that ran aground in the north west Highlands is being towed to Inchgreen in Greenock on the Clyde for repairs.

The Lysblink Seaways, which was carrying paper from Belfast to Norway, ran aground near Ardnamurchan Point last month.

It was later refloated and anchored in Scallastle Bay in the Sound of Mull.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said work to tow the vessel about 172 miles (277km) down the west coast had begun.

The 394ft-long (120m) Lysblink Seaways got into difficulty at Kilchoan at about 01:50 on Wednesday 18 February.

A plan for the ship's passage was agreed by Hugh Shaw, the Secretary of State's representative for maritime salvage and intervention.

Mr Shaw said, "The tow will, where possible, take advantage of sheltered waters and will move through the Sound of Mull, Firth of Lorn, Sound of Jura and the North Channel before entering the Firth of Clyde."

The operation involves two tugs - Luca and Afon Menai - a support ship called the Forth Jouster and the Coastguard vessel MCA Hunter.

The Scottish Environment Group has been monitoring the work.

More than 150 tonnes of fuel oil was removed from Lysblink Seaways to prevent the risk of a spill in rough seas while it was at anchor.

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