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    Emergency towing vessel ran aground off UK coast

    News // September 9, 2005

    The UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) says the emergency towing vessel Anglian Sovereign ran aground last week.

    The incident took place on September 3rd, and led to pollution incident in which marine gas oil (diesel fuel oil) was released into the water when the ship was damaged.

    At 21.45 on the evening of the 3rd, Shetland Coastguard received a mayday call from Anglian Sovereign, which is contracted to the MCA, reporting that she ran aground. The vessel is owned and operated by Klyne Tugs of Lowestoft.

    Shetland Coastguard broadcast a mayday relay and scrambled the Coastguard rescue helicopter Oscar Charlie from Sumburgh and also requested the launch of the Aith RNLI lifeboat. The helicopter evacuated 13 non-essential crew to Tingwall.

    Anglian Sovereign ran aground on the island of Oxna, ten miles west of Scalloway. The weather at the time was a south south westerly wind Force 67.

    The vessel was refloated and headed for Scalloway under its own power with a 15 degree list, ecorted by the survey vessel Triton.

    Anglian Sovereign sustained some damage and underwet an underwater inspection by divers to ascertain the extent of that damage. The vessel lost approximately 200 tons of marine gas oil, commonly known as diesel fuel.

    The MCA Counter Pollution Branch mobilised resources to Scalloway, Shetland Islands to work in cooperation with the relevant authorities to deal with the fuel spill.

    The Marine Accident Investigation Branch was notified of the incident by the MCA and they will be investigating the incident.

    The vessel was surrounded by booms in Scalloway Harbour and mechanical equipment has been deployed to deal with the pollution.

    The Maritime and Coastguard Agency asaid it had been working closely with all interested parties to minimise the pollution risk to the environment.

    Following the pollution incident in Scalloway Harbour, the MCA on behalf of the established Environment Group issued precautionary advice to local shellfish and fish farmers, and inshore shellfish fishermen in the Scalloway area, not to fish, harvest or feed in areas of obvious oil pollution.

    The MCA said updates will be issued following the assessment of the aerial survey carried out by an MCA surveillance aircraft.

    Environmental Health Officers confirm that the clearance carried out in the harbour has been effective. However, there are sheens, which extend beyond the harbour boundaries. The location, extent and impact of these will be determined.

    Fish farmers in the vicinity are monitoring the situation on the ground. They report no signs of any pollution affecting these sites and are taking any necessary precautions. Shellfish farmers are also monitoring the situation.

     

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