Container ship Lysblink Seaways runs aground in Scotland

Lysblink Seaways, a 7,500-tonne container ship owned by DFDS, has run aground near the Scottish port of Kilchoan

Coastguard and RNLI crew were called out last night after a container ship ran aground near the Scottish port of Kilchoan.

Lysblink Seaways, a 7,500-tonne vessel, reported that it had run aground at 01:50, prompting a response from Stornoway Coastguard and RNLI Tobermorey.

A Coastguard update at 08:18 confirmed that nine people were on board Lysblink Seaways at the time of grounding, but no-one was injured.

The local lifeboat is currently standing by as Heracles, an emergency towing vessel is called to the location.

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An RNLI spokesperson reported that vessel was taking on water but is not in any imminent danger.

The Coastguard announcement added: “Currently the crew remain on board and will await tugs arriving on scene.

“Two salvage companies Svitzer and Smit are involved with a team of two: salvage master and naval architect.”

Counter-pollution equipment, including an absorbant boom, is being sent to the scene to deal with a small oil spill, believed to be no larger than 4 square metres.

Lysblink Seaways is part of the DFDS Seaways fleet and the 423ft vessel was only 200 miles into its 2,000-mile vessel from Belfast to the Norwegian port of Skogn when it ran aground last night.

AIS tracking data shows that the vessel was travelling at 14 knots when it hit, prompting social media users to question whether the skipper was asleep at the wheel.

Lysblink Seaways course

Built in 2000, she has a top speed of 16 knots and a cargo capacity of 160 TEU.

Responding to the grounding Drew Hendry, leader of the Highland Council said: “We will do everything in our power to minimise any risk to the environment.

“At this stage, however, the risk of pollution is understood to be very low.”

The grounding of Lysblink Seaways comes just over six weeks after MV Hoegh Osaka ran aground in the Solent.

It took 19 days for salvage firm Svitzer to return the 51,000-tonne vessel to the Port of Southampton.

Whereas Hoegh Osaka had a multi-million pound cargo of new cars, Lysblink Seaways is believed to be transporting 50 tonnes of paper products.

UPDATE: The Coastguard is enforcing a temporary 100-metre exclusion zone around Lysblink Seaways while salvage operations take place. Passing vessels are urged to keep their distance.


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