[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="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.