Our freight ferry found herself grounded on a reef at Stornoway harbour on Friday morning. MV Muirneag, which carries cargo vehicles back and forth between Lewis and Ullapool, was coming in at 8 am on Friday, when an apparent electrical failure left the vessel drifting. She eventually ran aground and was stuck there for a brief while, until the incoming tide and the ship's engines combined to refloat her. Nobody was injured, and the lifeboat, which was standing by throughout the incident, did not need to take any crew off. It would appear that an innocent jogger, out for an early morning run, nearly collided with the ship's bow as she ground to a halt just below the shoreline path between Cuddy Point and the Creed.
The ship docked alongside her usual berth at no 1 pier a little later and an underwater inspection revealed some damage. Muirneag left for Aberdeen on Saturday and went into dry dock there on Sunday evening. It is understood a new plate will be welded on to the ship to replace one damaged in the grounding.
A formal investigation into the incident is on-going.
On Wednesday afternoon, Muirneag was spotted on AIS Aberdeen, heading north past Rattray Head on its way to Ullapool to pick up a load of lorries on Thursday evening.
Imagery is available on this page hosted by the Stornoway Gazette. It should be pointed out that the information contained therein has been superseded by events