The crew of a Dutch cargo ship are facing a third night aboard their vessel which remains grounded on rocks in the Pentland Firth.
The bid to refloat the Priscilla from the Pentland Skerries is now a salvage operation, with preparations started yesterday.
The 2281-tonne ship, which has a cargo of fertiliser, ran on to the shelf of rock, off Duncansby Head early on Wednesday en route from Scandinavia to Cumbria.
A succession of attempts to pull the nine-year-old vessel free, latterly by the coastguard tug Ievoli Black, proved unsuccessful.
Hugh Shaw, the Secretary of State’s Representative for Maritime Salvage & Intervention #SOSRep is closely monitoring the grounded vessel 'Priscilla' and is in dialogue with the owner and insurer regarding the future plans for salvage. ©️@RNLI More here: https://t.co/gZjECw2RJQ pic.twitter.com/cik6GAwYFS
— Maritime&Coastguard (@MCA_media) July 19, 2018
The job is now in the hands of a consortium of three salvage companies, Multraship, Ardent and Wagenborg, which has been appointed by the owners of the Priscilla.
Representatives from Ardent, due to arrive at the scene last night, plan to carry out an initial assessment today.
The operation is being monitored by Hugh Shaw, the Secretary of State’s Representative for Maritime Salvage and Intervention
A spokeswoman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: “The salvors have already commenced deploying equipment to the incident site.
“It is expected that an outline salvage plan will be prepared for discussion between key stakeholders and Mr Shaw for approval. A Salvage Control Unit (SCU) will then be established near the incident.”
The spokeswoman said the crew remain safe and no pollution has been reported coming from the ship.
Mr Shaw has established a temporary exclusion zone of 500 metres around the site to ensure the safety of those involved in the salvage.
He said: “This incident has now become a salvage operation in order to refloat the vessel.
“The Pentland Firth is well known for the strength of its tides, which are among the fastest in the world, so I’m pleased that the owner’s representative and insurers have appointed experienced salvors without delay.
“I am in dialogue with a number of key stakeholders and once we have established and agreed the salvage plan, I will provide a further update on the way forward.”
The crew of a Dutch cargo ship spent a third night aboard their vessel which remains grounded on rocks in the Pentland Firth.