Snagged rope could have sunk the Flying Fish

Fishing boat tt272 Flying Fish sits under water next to the railway pier oban where Coastguard hv a cordon to try and stop spillage from the striken vessell picture kevin mcglynn

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A snagged mooring rope could have caused a fishing boat to sink in Oban Bay.

It is believed a rope got caught on the bottom of the harbour wall and held the boat down so that when the tide came in on April 18, it swamped the 10m long TT272 Flying Fish vessel from Tarbert.

The boat had to be lifted and pumped out the next day and has now been towed to another part of the bay to dry out.

Investigations were carried out by  the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Oban harbour officials.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency  initiated the emergency response calling for support from the lifeboat and coastguard and oil boons were deployed to absorb as much of the oil spill as possible but some seeped out beyond the floating barrier.

Maritime and Coastguard Agency workers were at the scene to monitor the incident throughout, said Oban harbour master Paul Jennings.

Mr Jennings added checks that the incident had been dealt with correctly and efficiently had now been done and the harbour authority and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency were ‘happy’.

‘Pollution from diesel evaporates quickly so we don’t get a long-term problem,’ he said.

Once the Flying Fish has been dried out, it will have to undergo more checks from the Maritime and Coastal Agency to make sure it is seaworthy.

A SEPA spokesperson said: ‘SEPA worked with partner organisations to investigate and the boat has now been removed. The fuel involved in the incident was not of sufficient quantity to result in a significant adverse impact on the water environment and booms were deployed to contain the spill at source. We would advise members of the public to contact our 24-Hour Pollution Hotline on 0800 80 70 60 to report any potential pollution.’