MV Wilson Gdynia has lost steering in a force eight gale off the coast of Scotland - Ships Nostalgia
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MV Wilson Gdynia has lost steering in a force eight gale off the coast of Scotland

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  #1  
Old 12th April 2014, 19:27
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MV Wilson Gdynia has lost steering in a force eight gale off the coast of Scotland

A lifeboat is standing-by a stricken cargo ship which has lost steering in a force eight gale off the west coast of Scotland.

Coastguards are concerned for the safety of her eight crew as high winds batter the vessel which is about 20 miles south of Barra Head.

A rescue or salvage tug is being sought for the MV Wilson Gdynia.

The 3,600 tonne Barbados-registered ship is crawling along at a speed of between one to two knots into the westerly gale as her captain desperately tries to keep her bow into the wind – a technique used to prevent her rolling heavily from side-to-side as if she went broadside-on (right angles) the whole length of the ship would be exposed to the high waves and strong winds.

Barra lifeboat is staying close to the stricken vessel in case the eight seamen onboard have to be evacuated.

Stornoway Coastguard received a VHF radio call about the emergency situation around 10.30am on Saturday morning and requested Barra lifeboat to launch.

The lifeboat is presently standing-by off the 20-year-old vessel which is carrying a cargo of wood chips.

The Tobermory RNLI lifeboat will take over standby duty at 6pm on Saturday to relieve the Barra crew.

Carol Collins, Stornoway Coastguard watch manager said: “The weather on scene is a concern with gale force winds and high seas.

“The lifeboat will standby in case the crew need to be taken off. We are working with our counter pollution officers to source a tug for the vessel.”

Last edited by dolan; 12th April 2014 at 19:29..
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  #2  
Old 12th April 2014, 19:36
WillieG WillieG is offline  
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Send the Coastguard Tug - Oh, that's right, some clowns decided we don't need them..........
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  #3  
Old 12th April 2014, 20:11
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A daunting task to keep her head into the wind without steering gear . Only the choice of engine speed and direction . Good news is the high accommodation block situated aft which will act as a weather vane . Good seamanship in my opinion , I would guess dead slow ahead and hope the wind catches the accommodation block to correct direction .
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  #4  
Old 13th April 2014, 01:17
Rognvald Rognvald is offline  
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I see the ETV Herakles is still lying in Kirkwall Bay, is she not permitted to venture south?
The Wilson Gdynia sailed out of range for the ais sites at about 21.00 last night.

Last edited by Rognvald; 13th April 2014 at 01:21..
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  #5  
Old 13th April 2014, 01:21
WillieG WillieG is offline  
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Balder Viking presently off Peterhead is showing ETA Stanton Banks 0300 Monday - presumably to attend this incident.
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Old 13th April 2014, 01:24
sparkie2182 sparkie2182 is online now  
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Good luck to all.
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  #7  
Old 13th April 2014, 01:28
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good day dolan.sm.today.03:27.re:m.v. wilson gdynia has lost steering in a force eight gale off the coast of scotland.thank you for posting this news,the captain is certainly trying to save the ship,thanks for the thumb nail.great post.may the crew stay safe,regards ben27
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  #8  
Old 13th April 2014, 02:07
roddy roddy is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WillieG View Post
Balder Viking presently off Peterhead is showing ETA Stanton Banks 0300 Monday - presumably to attend this incident.
Correct, casualty has managed to make some westing and situation looks better, however it will be a long 24 hours for those on board.
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  #9  
Old 13th April 2014, 12:28
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Latest from BBC.
Efforts to aid cargo vessel drifting off Scottish coast
A tug is being sent to the aid of a cargo vessel drifting in heavy seas off the west coast of Scotland.

The 88m ship has power but had lost steering in seven-metre waves south west of Tiree on Saturday afternoon.

Coastguard and lifeboat crews have been monitoring the situation and a tug from Aberdeen is en route to tow the stricken ship to safety.

The eight crew remain on board the vessel, which is carrying wood chips.

The Barbados-registered boat got into difficulty about 20 miles west of Skerryvore Lighthouse.

The RNLI said the Tobermory lifeboat had been launched to take over from the Barra crew at the scene.

A spokesman added: "A tug is being despatched from Aberdeen to tow the vessel to safety but is not expected to be on scene until later on Sunday."
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Old 13th April 2014, 22:10
Orcadian Orcadian is offline  
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The Herakles is stationed here in Kirkwall and has been lying alongside Hatston pier since the middle of February. is has never shifted. We as tax payers are funding it WHY?
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  #11  
Old 13th April 2014, 22:30
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M.V. WILSON GDYNIA and tug BALDER VIKING

The Aberdeen-based tug BALDER VIKING is presently abeam Muldoanich Island, off Barra, and has been making good time down the Minch at 16 knots, so should be in the Stanton Banks area by her estimated time of 03:00 hours tomorrow morning, per Roddy and WillieG comments, comfortably, weather permitting. Sooner they get a line on board the better, not a good place to be in their circumstances. Good luck to them - a stressful business.
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  #12  
Old 14th April 2014, 08:17
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Check out RNLI video here.
http://tinyurl.com/ohvcrol
No fun in the dark.
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  #13  
Old 14th April 2014, 12:43
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Wilson Gdynia and Balder Viking

Thanks for that, Dolan - bad enough WITH an operable steering system in these conditions, never mind anything else. Do you know what has transpired since the tug reached the scene? (Am not able to find either the ship or the tug through AIS system) Are the two lifeboats back home now? Thanks, Angus.
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  #14  
Old 14th April 2014, 13:50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eriskay View Post
Thanks for that, Dolan - bad enough WITH an operable steering system in these conditions, never mind anything else. Do you know what has transpired since the tug reached the scene? (Am not able to find either the ship or the tug through AIS system) Are the two lifeboats back home now? Thanks, Angus.
Check thumbnail for last known position.This is on saturday.
No news yet today.Dolan
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  #15  
Old 14th April 2014, 14:14
WillieG WillieG is offline  
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Angus/Dolan - Vesselfinder shows her heading in roughly a southeasterly direction towards the North Channel.
Regards,
Willie
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  #16  
Old 14th April 2014, 14:58
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Angus/Dolan - Vesselfinder shows her heading in roughly a southeasterly direction towards the North Channel.
Regards,
Willie

Is that both of them, under tow conditions? Presume heading for the Clyde for remedial repairs. Thanks.
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  #17  
Old 14th April 2014, 17:29
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Is that both of them, under tow conditions? Presume heading for the Clyde for remedial repairs. Thanks.
Looks like heading for Belfast.Weather conditions much improved.
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  #18  
Old 14th April 2014, 17:44
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Balder Viking and Wilson Gdynia

Yes - both showing destination Belfast and, at a mean 9 knots, they should be there before long. All's well that ends well, bet that crew are relieved. Thanks for the regular bulletins !
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  #19  
Old 14th April 2014, 17:48
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Looks like heading for Belfast.Weather conditions much improved.
Recent emergencies underlines need for coastguard tug 14/4/14

Western Isles Council has called for a salvage tug to be based on the west coast of Scotland after separate incidents where ships got into difficulties with the nearest emergency towing vessel days away.

The 53,000 tonne MV Eleanor D broke down with engine troubles some 150 miles west of the Hebrides a week ago. It took some five days for help to reach her.

Then heavy seas and force eight gales risked blowing the MV Wilson Gdynia bulkcarrier onto rocks after she lost rudder control between Barra and Tiree on Saturday.

Desperate to prevent an oil spill if she grounded, her captain used her bow-thruster to punch her at very slow speed along a staggered course away from land.

Barra and Mallaig lifeboats stood watch in a heavy swell, ready to take the eight crew off the stricken ship, if required.

The 88-metre long vessel ended up drifting off the Western Isles by the time a tug, chartered from Aberdeen, got to her off Barra on Monday morning.

On Tuesday, the Norwegian-owned Wilson Gdynia was being towed to Belfast for repairs to her steering gear.
In neither case was the government chartered tug, MV Herakles mobilised from her station in Orkney.

Western Isles Council leader Angus Campbell, hit out at the absence of emergency tug cover down the west coast of Scotland, particularly in the bad weather which concerned coastguards over the Wilson Gdynia emergency.

Mr Campbell said: “It is important that we acknowledge the work of the Barra lifeboat crew in ensuring the safety of this vessel until the rescue boat arrived from Aberdeen.”

“However, the time delay in the boat arriving from that distance away, in addition to the severe weather, once again highlights how vulnerable the west coast is to such incidents.

“This is the second occasion on which the north based tug has not been used for incidents off the west coast, which contradicts what had previously been agreed on the service and poses the question of whether it is to be used for incidents off the west coast.

“Therefore, we would call on the UK Government to reconsider the provision of a second tug based in the western waters of Scotland to reduce the risk for mariners and the environment in what is a major shipping area.”

Mr Campbell added: “We call on the UK Government to reassess and find a long term solution to this crucial issue.”

Two years ago, a cargo ship ran aground on North Uist just days after the last Western Isles coastguard tug was removed from service. The islands were faced without any emergency towing tug which could come to the aid of a stricken ship.

In a partial u-turn the UK government later hired a tug to cover the vast maritime area from Barra to Shetland until 2015. However, it has been rarely seen south of its berth in Kirwall and never at all in recent emergencies.
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  #20  
Old 14th April 2014, 18:23
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Yes - both showing destination Belfast and, at a mean 9 knots, they should be there before long. All's well that ends well, bet that crew are relieved. Thanks for the regular bulletins !
BALDER VIKING doing the steering rather than towing it would seem...
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  #21  
Old 14th April 2014, 19:06
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This is the second occasion on which the north based tug has not been used for incidents off the west coast, which contradicts what had previously been agreed on the service and poses the question of whether it is to be used for incidents off the west coast.
Actually it's the third time a tug based on Scotland's east coast has recently had to steam west to effect "rescue". In the first days of February the fully laden 175000 DWT bulk carrier, CAPE ELISE, bound for Hunterston, lost power off the SW coast of Ireland in extreme conditions. Tug UOS Liberty steamed from Aberdeen to begin an epic tow to the Clyde eventually assisted through the North Channel by the tug KESTREL, which I think steamed from one of the Northern Isles…

I was amazed that no one from Scotland seemed interested in that one. It could potentially have happened anywhere en route to the Clyde.
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  #22  
Old 14th April 2014, 19:10
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No doubt a west coast tug is required as has always been the case; Aberdeen is to far away .
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  #23  
Old 14th April 2014, 20:11
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Regrettably when economics and politics take precedence, and decisions are taken in the long run by people with no experience and little understanding of the elements, dangers, and logistics involved we have the situation that we have. Perhaps if the ships and crews were British some more attention would be given to the dangers that reduction or withdrawal of these services brings with it, not that it matters a damn what nationality the seamen at risk happens to be. The code of the sea and seamanship is being compromised by the suits in warm offices.

Every time I see one of these huge oil tankers or ore carriers passing down the West of the Hebrides, and knowing what the weather can get up to in these parts, the thought of a loss of power or steering is nightmare stuff. There should be a 'BALDER VIKING' type of vessel based at Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, and that provision should be a permanent feature.

The absence of such common-sense provision exacerbates the risk put on the RNLI services that invariably have to stand by and attend a potential stranding or worse. Their job is tough enough without endangering them further, they too have families back home worrying themselves sick.

Last edited by eriskay; 14th April 2014 at 20:14..
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  #24  
Old 15th April 2014, 12:02
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11:00 hours - Tuesday 15th April 2014

M.V. Wilson Gdynia and her Aberdeen tug, Balder Viking, rendezvoused with local Belfast tug Eileen McLoughlin earlier this morning in Belfast Lough and the larger tug has now started her haul back to Aberdeen having provided an excellent service to the stricken vessel.

The smaller tug appears to be acting as 'rudder' for the cargo ship for the final run in to the port of Belfast.

The bad weather that was around appears to have been replaced by a fine spell, so all's well that ends well.
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  #25  
Old 15th April 2014, 12:26
Steve Hodges Steve Hodges is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eriskay View Post
Regrettably when economics and politics take precedence, and decisions are taken in the long run by people with no experience and little understanding of the elements, dangers, and logistics involved we have the situation that we have. Perhaps if the ships and crews were British some more attention would be given to the dangers that reduction or withdrawal of these services brings with it, not that it matters a damn what nationality the seamen at risk happens to be. The code of the sea and seamanship is being compromised by the suits in warm offices.

Every time I see one of these huge oil tankers or ore carriers passing down the West of the Hebrides, and knowing what the weather can get up to in these parts, the thought of a loss of power or steering is nightmare stuff. There should be a 'BALDER VIKING' type of vessel based at Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, and that provision should be a permanent feature.

The absence of such common-sense provision exacerbates the risk put on the RNLI services that invariably have to stand by and attend a potential stranding or worse. Their job is tough enough without endangering them further, they too have families back home worrying themselves sick.
I could not agree more, particularly on your last point.
Regrettably those that take such decisions and ignore risks in the name of economy are never called to account when things go pear-shaped, they have invariably moved on to another, bigger desk.
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