Tanker runs aground at Skye bridge due to seabed data not showing boulder

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Marine investigators say incorrect seabed data was the cause of a tanker transporting chemicals running aground near Kyleakin on Skye in March last year.

In its just released accident report, the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) said seabed survey data used by the crew of the Gibralter-registered Key Bora did not show a boulder at a pier they were approaching.

The ship was approaching fish farming company Mowi’s pier at Kyleakin, when the incident happened on March 28 last year.

No one was injured and there was no pollution, but the Key Bora’s hull sustained damaged and there was flooding in its ballast tanks. The vessel was aground for about 12 minutes before refloating.

In its report, the MAIB states: ‘The grounding happened because the bridge team relied on locally produced survey data that did not show a boulder obstruction near the pier.

‘This survey data appeared to the crew to be reliable and accurate, so was preferred to the ECDIS data, which did show the obstruction.

‘The investigation also identified safety management issues at Mowi’s Kyleakin facility, including that the Port Marine Safety Code was not fully implemented.’

The MAIB has made safety recommendations to Mowi about its operation of the pier.