Grounded cargo ship remains stable ahead of re-float operation

Grounded cargo ship remains stable ahead of re-float operation

Operations to re-float the MV Priscilla should commence within the next 24 hours. The ship ran aground at Pentland Skerries in the early hours of last Wednesday morning. (picture: Hamish Mowatt)

Date 23 July 2018

The cargo ship, MV Priscilla remains in a stable condition, but hard aground, ahead of operations to re-float the vessel, which should commence within the next 24 hours, according to HM Coastguard.

The Netherlands-registered MV Priscilla ran aground at Pentland Skerries, to the south of South Ronaldsay, in the early hours of Wednesday morning last week.

A Salvage Control Unit (SCU) meeting was held at 10am this morning, Monday, where salvors — Multraship/Ardent/Wagenborg — proposed salvage plan was discussed and approved by the acting SOSRep, Hugh Shaw.

The Temporary Exclusion Zone (TEZ) has been extended to 1,000 metres, to allow for increased activity around the vessel once operations start commencing.

It is also reported that the vessel is carrying 52 tonnes of marine gas oil (MGO), 4 tonnes of heavy fuel oil (HFO), 2 tonnes of lubricating oil (LO) and has a cargo of 3,300 tonnes of bulk fertiliser in one cargo hold.

No pollution has been reported, however, but, as a precautionary measure, it has been agreed to remove up to 35 tonnes of the MGO. The remaining MGO will be required for ship services, etc.

The Heavy Fuel Oil is reported to be solidified and contained in a tank with no heating. No attempt will be made to remove this product. The lubricating oil will remain on board for ship services.

HM Coastguard has also said the re-float operation will consist of several steps:

  • Taking into account weather, sea state and tidal forces, approximately 1,350 tonnes of cargo will need to be discharged onto barges, transported and loaded onto a receiving cargo vessel
  • The ship’s tanks will then be prepared for air pressurisation
  • The ship will then be de-ballasted and re-floated on high water; following a successful re-float there will then be a brief inspection of the vessel prior to towing her to a safe location in order to facilitate further inspections

HM Coastguard have said the six-person crew of the Priscilla remain safe and well on board. 

At this time, details of what led to the cargo ship running aground remain scant, The Marine Accident Investigation Branch confirmed at the end of last week that they are conducting an investigation into the incident and a report would be published in due course.

Source: The Orcadian


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