Kyle of Lochalsh RNLI and Mallaig RNLI took the casualty under tow to hold her against the strong currents. Photo: Kyle RNLI
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Leader, Cllr Roddie Mackay, has called upon the UK Government to reinstate the west coast based tug after yet another incident took place on Sunday morning.
The 65m (213ft) ‘CEG Universe’ was heading through the Kylerhea Narrows between Skye and Glenelg when it became stuck with a broken rudder.
RNLI lifeboats from Kyle of Lochalsh and Mallaig RNLI were paged at 7.30am yesterday morning and sped to the vessel which was using its anchor to try and hold position in very strong eight knot tidal currents.
The RNLI lifeboats and volunteer crews stood by while awaiting the arrival of the Emergency Towing Vessel (ETV) ‘SD Kyle of Lochalsh’, coming from the BUTEC base in Kyle.
While waiting for the Tug however, the casualty vessel’s anchor brake failed leaving the 65metre long ship, loaded with a cargo of road salt, to drift.
Mallaig and Kyle of Lochalsh RNLI lifeboats took the ‘CEG Universe’ under tow and held her against the current until the Tug arrived on scene at 10.15am.
Cllr Mackay said: “At the weekend we had another incident off the west coast which could have seriously impacted marine wildlife and the coastal environment.
“These incidents are all too frequent and we remain very concerned, as do colleagues in neighbouring councils, about the current situation which increases the risks for mariners and the environment.
“We will once again be making the case to the UK Government for a second ETV based on the west coast to address this serious issue.”