Damage report awaited for wellboat that ran aground

The owners of a wellboat that ran aground on the west coast of Scotland this week are waiting to assess the extent of any damage.

The Settler, a 40-metre wellboat operated by Ocean Farm Services, was on its way to a Scottish Sea Farms site for a harvest operation on Tuesday when it ran aground north of Glenelg. An attempt to refloat the vessel on the high tide on Wednesday morning was unsuccessful, but with the higher evening tide it came free from the rocks.

The Helen Burnie, a multi-purpose vessel operated by Inverlussa Marine Services, towed the Settler to sheltered waters away from shore, where it was able to start up and make its way to Mallaig harbour under its own propulsion.

The crew of the Settler were able to leave the vessel safely at low tide on Tuesday evening, and the crew of the Helen Burnie gave up their bunks to allow the rescued crew to rest after a difficult day.

Chris Mackay, Marine Superintendent and DPA (Designated Person Ashore) with Ocean Farm Services told Fish Farmer: “This is a fairly notorious coastline, with currents of six to eight knots, but this is the first time that we have experienced a grounding.”

As the vessel was on its way to the farm site, there were no fish being carried.

The Settler is currently moored in Mallaig harbour and divers will be inspecting the hull to assess damage.

The vessel was built in 2002 and initially operated by Solvtrans before being acquired by Ocean Farm Services. It has a draft of 4.7 metres and a capacity of 650m3.

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