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Drifting vessel in difficulty off Rum

Stornoway coastguard are co-ordinating assistance to a drifting cargo vessel in waters.

Coastguard rescue helicopter: standing by at Rum
© STV

Stornoway Coastguard are currently co-ordinating a rescue of a drifting cargo vessel.

The ‘Red Duchess’, a coal carrying merchant vessel, broke down off the coast of the Isle of Rum.

The vessel is a UK flag small coaster of 76m length.  Its cargo of coal, 27 cubic metres of diesel oil and 400 litres of lube oil is Stornoway-bound.

An engine failure is thought to be the cause of the problem but electrical power has been retained and is able to anchor if required.  The prevailing weather is poor, with south westerly winds of force 7 – 8. 

Worries are being raised about the drifting into waters which are around 20 metres deep at least half a mile off-shore, which will make anchoring practical even though the bottom is rocky. 

The Mallaig lifeboat has now been launched and has got a line on board in an attempt to arrest the ships drift.

The Coastguard ETV ‘Anglian Prince’ normally based at Stornoway has been sent to the area, but is still five hours steaming away from the location.

The Coastguard rescue helicopter is moving to Rum if required for any possible evacuation of crew from the vessel.

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