Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Maritime safety (II)

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Red Duchess at Stornoway on 11 Nov. 2009, discharging coal"]Red Duchess at Stornoway on 11 Nov. 2009, discharging coal[/caption]

The merchant vessel Red Duchess lost engine power off the Isle of Rum this morning, but retains electrical power. It is currently southwest of the island, drifting towards Harris Bay. It is capable of lowering an anchor into 20 metres (70 feet) of water if necessary. The emergency tug Anglian Prince is on its way, but will take another five hours to reach the site of the emergency. A coastguard helicopter is on stand-by to airlift crew off the vessel if required.

The Red Duchess was on its way to Stornoway with a cargo of coal (hope nobody is desperate for coal just now).

This incident once more highlights the complete lunacy of withdrawing the cover provided by the MCA tugs.


  1. Yes Arnish : could'nt agree more.
    Only sorry that "Anglian Prince" is as far away as Stornoway instead of lurking at Shiants or some other loch nearer the middle of the Minch.

  2. She can sometimes be found in Loch Ewe. But better in Stornoway than not there at all - which is the prospect looming for this time in 2011.

  3. On second thoughts re. Maritime Safety I & II, it seems to me that Anglian Prince has now more than paid for her charter hire - or, at least that should be the case.
    Under the Lloyds Open Form system of "no cure, no pay" the insurance arbitrators decide the reward for a sucessful salvage.
    Even a very small percentage of the cost / value of HMS Astute plus that of "Red Duchess" the rewards ought to be very considerable.
    Put the lawyers on the case!

  4. So "Anglian Prince" is said to have caused a little damage whilst coming to the rescue of "Astute".

    The answer to that is, surely, so what? Accidents do happen: but it certainly would not have happened had "Astute" been in deep and safer waters. No douby "Anglian Prince" was concerned for her own safety as well.

    It was the day before Springs: so any delay could mean the putting of "Astute" in even greater danger.