Wednesday, 4 March 2015


Weather permitting the tow of the cargo vessel Lysblink Seaways will begin at 1300 today.

A passage plan agreed by Hugh Shaw, the Secretary of State’s representative Maritime Salvage and Intervention covers the 150 nautical mile tow to Inchgreen, Greenock on the Firth of Clyde.

Mr Shaw said, “The tow will, where possible, take advantage of sheltered waters and will move through the Sound of Mull, Firth of Lorn, Sound of Jura and the North Channel before entering the Firth of Clyde.”

The tug Luca will be the towing vessel and the tug Afon Menai will be connected to the stern. The Forth Jouster will provide support for the operation.

Svitzer Salvage will have a team and salvage equipment, on board the ‘Lysblink Seaways’ for the duration of the tow.

The current temporary exclusion zone in Scallastle Bay will be cancelled but another will be put into place until she enters the Sound of Jura.

The Coastguard vessel MCA Hunter will provide safety cover between Scallastle Bay and the Firth of Lorn.

The Scottish Environment Group continues to monitor events and is supporting the work being done. 

Notes to Editors

For further information please contact the Maritime and Coastguard Agency Press Office on 02380 329401. You can also find us on Twitter @MCA_media

Tuesday, 3 March 2015


The owners of the Lysblink Seaways have confirmed that the delivery port agreed with the salvors will be Inchgreen, Greenock on the Firth of Clyde.

A voyage passage plan is being finalised and, weather permitting, the tow may commence tomorrow.

Svitzer Salvage has a team on board and continue to prepare the Lysblink Seaways for her tow to the repair facility.

The vessel will remain anchored at Scallastle Bay in the Sound of Mull until a decision is made by Hugh Shaw, the Secretary of State’s representative Maritime Salvage and Intervention to allow her to move.

A temporary exclusion zone of 100 metres remains in place.

The Scottish Environment Group continues to monitor events and is supporting the work being done. 

Notes to Editors

For further information please contact the Maritime and Coastguard Agency Press Office on 02380 329401. You can also find us on Twitter @MCA_media


The media have the opportunity to interview Peter Mizen to about the closure of the station at Swansea and learn more about the new national Coastguard network, scheduled to be fully operational by the end of 2015.

The National Maritime Operations Centre (NMOC) and 10 other Coastguard Operation Centres around the UK will work together to manage the workload. For further information about the new structure, click here.

Peter will come to your recording studio or a location of your choice. We do not have premises available. Please book your place with Sophie Turner / Heather Skull in the MCA Press Office on 02380 329401 before 15:00 on Wednesday 4 March 2015.

Monday, 2 March 2015


A mother and daughter have been rescued by Coastguard teams after getting stuck in the mud outside Lymington River.

Lymington Coastguard, assisted by Hill Head Coastguard and Hampshire Fire and Rescue service were called to the incident which was reported yesterday at 2.20pm.

The two were stuck in the mud at Tanners Lane beach about 30metres from the shoreline. Two other members of the family – father and son – were also there but not stuck.

The mother went to the aid of her daughter but then both got stuck and the emergency services were called.

Coastguards arrived on the scene at 2.40pm. By 3.20pm the coastguard team had rescued the two and passed them onto the South Central Ambulance paramedics for medical care.

Colin Tabor, station officer at Lymington Coastguard said, “This was a challenging one because of the location and also because we were faced with deteriorating weather conditions and a flood tide.

“There was also some concern about the cold and how it might affect the casualties.

“We had all just re-qualified two weeks previously in mud rescue and these kind of incidents show the value of such training.”


My colleague last week talked about checking the hull, propeller, sea valves and rudder on your boat, so this week I want to talk to about the deck and cabin areas.

 Photo 1
There’s not a part of your boat that isn’t important but these are areas often overlooked.  You need to check the deck, especially any joins, to make sure it’s not cracked or corroded and that there’s no corrosion on any of the metal fastenings – bolts, screws, nails.  If you do need to replace fastenings, make sure they are the right type, if you’re sailing at sea you don’t want to use ones designed for fresh water. Does the deck feel springy or soft when walking around? This could suggest damage. Do a press test on any wooden areas of the deck with a small cross head screwdriver to check for rot; flaky paint could be a sign that the wood below is rotten. Any rotted areas of wood should be replaced. 

Check the rubber seals of any joins and around hatches, doorways and windows to make sure they haven’t become sun or water damaged. If they feel hard, brittle or are cracked or split, replace them.

Photo 2
All deck fittings should be checked – cleats, bollards, etc. Are the holding down bolts secure and not corroded? Are they sealed at the deck? Are backing plates fitted under the deck and are they undamaged?

Once you’ve checked the structure on the outside, you now need to do the same in the cockpit and in the cabins.  Think about any areas where you may have dropped something heavy or that have taken a lot of weight to see if there is damage that needs repairing. Is there any sign of water or water damage that may suggest a leak?

Any areas that are difficult to access should be thoroughly checked as these are usually the areas subject to the least maintenance. So lift all floor plates, check behind lockers, carpets, bunks, etc.

Now that you’re having a good look around inside, this is also a good time to check your bilge pump.  The best way to test it, is to have it pump out water; ensure the bilge area is clean and fill it with water. If there is a bilge alarm then lift the float to test this, run the bilge pump and make sure it empties the bilge.  You might need to clean the strum box filter to get the pump working properly.

Clutter is not a good thing on a boat. Keep gangways and access points clear, remove any excess equipment from bilges, lockers and cabins.

Now that you’ve checked the hull and superstructure you might be tempted to think that your boat is ready to go on the water but there are a few more things for you to check before that happens.  Next week one of my colleagues will be giving you some more advice on what to check on your boat.

MCA Marine Surveyor Adam Jackson, Hull Marine Office.

1 Safe access route and distorted bollards. This shows the only access to the living area on the vessel.  The bollards will also wear away ropes or lines attached to them and the sharp edges will cut them.
2 Ragged and rusted edges on a hatch cover.  Not only could this let water in, there is also a danger to those on board of serious lacerations. The ragged edge could also damage any seals.
3 Hatch that is completely rotten and has mushrooms growing on it.  This was on a fishing boat.
4 Damage must be repaired properly, not hidden and forgotten.  Duck tape is not an acceptable repair, even if you paint over it.
5 Deck attachment worn down through use.  You can clearly see that it is half the width it should be meaning it is half as strong.  If any of your attachments are worn they need to be replaced.
6 Blocked passageway.  Keep access routes clear in case of an emergency.
7 Crack in the structure.  This crack was in the lifeboat hook foundation that is designed to support 14 tonnes and required significant repairs.
8 Unsafe equipment and fire hazards.  It would be easier to explain what is safe in this photo.  Some of the dangers that are easy to see are; trip hazards, unsafe electrical equipment such as a sink and hob in one unit, mattresses that are a fire hazard, radiator in a dangerous position, no fencing around the hob to prevent pots falling and inadequate ventilation.
9 Unsecured ballast. Here the ballast is free to move around the boat which means that when you turn, it will roll and your boat will be extremely unstable. Note as well the flexi exhaust laying on the propeller shaft.

All of these vessels were detained by MCA Marine Surveyors.

Photo 4

Photo 3
Photo 6

Photo 5
Photo 8

Photo 7

Photo 9

Saturday, 28 February 2015


The vessel remains at anchor in Scallastle Bay, Sound of Mull where work continues today to remove the fuel oil.  

A second underwater hull inspection will take place today. The owners are still in on-going discussions with ship repairers.

A temporary exclusion zone of 100 metres remains in place.
The next update will be issued on Monay 2nd March 2015.

Friday, 27 February 2015


Preparations for towing ‘Lysblink Seaways’ to a repair facility continue.

The vessel remains anchored at Scallastle Bay in the Sound of Mull while discussions about moving her are held.

Svitzer Salvage has a team on board 24 hours a day as part of the preparations to tow her to a repair facility.

The owners are in discussion with ship repairers at a number of locations and as soon as the final destination has been confirmed a passage plan will be agreed.

A temporary exclusion zone of 100 metres remains in place.

The Scottish Environment Group continues to monitor events and is supporting the work being done.