Energy Voice | Salvage experts may attempt to refloat sunken oil cargo vessel

Salvage experts may try to refloat a cargo ship which has been stranded for the past week later on Wednesday if conditions are favourable.

The MV Priscilla is stuck on the Pentland Skerries off the Caithness coast after running aground on July 18.

Part of the ship’s 3,300 tonne cargo of fertiliser has been offloaded onto a barge to lighten the vessel while 28 tonnes of oil have also been removed.

A Salvage Control Unit (SCU) meeting on Wednesday reported good progress was being made, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said.

If the weather and tidal conditions continue to hold, an attempt may be made to refloat the vessel at high water around 10pm.

If the refloat is successful, the vessel will be towed a safe distance from where it was grounded and will be held there until inspections confirm she is in a stable condition to make a short sea passage to a sheltered location.

Hugh Shaw, Acting Secretary of State’s Representative (SOSRep) Representative for Maritime Salvage & Intervention said: “A number of locations are still being considered and the final decision will be made once the structural integrity of the vessel has been established.”

The six crew are said to be safe and well.

A 1000-metre temporary exclusion zone remains in place around the position of the grounded vessel.

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