Salvage firms preparing for MV Priscilla move

After several unsuccessful attempts to refloat Dutch cargo ship Priscilla (IMO 9411745) which ran aground between Orkney and the Caithness coast on July 18th, HM Coastguard has said that the owner has appointed Multraship, Ardent and Wagenborg as salvors.

Representatives from Ardent were expected to carry out an initial assessment on Sunday July 21st. Salvors have already commenced deploying equipment to the incident site. The coastguard said that once an outline salvage plan had been prepared and approved, a salvage control unit (SCU) would be established near the site.

Acting SOSRep Hugh Shaw said that “this incident has now become a salvage operation in order to refloat the vessel. I’m pleased that the owner’s representative and insurers have appointed experienced salvors without delay. I am in dialogue with a number of key stakeholders and once we have established and agreed the salvage plan, I will provide a further update on the way forward”.

A temporary 500 metre exclusion zone has been established around the incident site. Priscilla remained stable but hard aground on the Pentland Skerries. The six crew on board are safe and well.

The 89 metre vessel got into difficulty at about 03:30 on Wednesday July 17th. Thurso RNLI and tug Green Isle were first on the scene, but attempts to refloat the ship failed.

A second, more powerful tug then arrived from Scapa Flow but the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said it was still not possible to move the ship.

The coastguard’s emergency towing vessel Ievoli Black then arrived and remained on standby. Weather conditions at the scene were relatively calm.

Priscilla ran aground on the Pentland Skerries between Orkney and the Caithness coast, northeast of Duncansby Head, at 03:30 local time on July 18th, while en route from Klaipeda, Lithuania, to Silloth, Cumbria, England, with a cargo of fertilizer on board.

2009-built, Netherlands-flagged, 2,281 gt Priscilla is owned by Beikes JH of Amsterdam, Netherlands. Manager is Wagenborg Shipping BV of Delfzjil, Netherlands. ISM manager is Priscilla Scheepvaat CV of Delfszjil, Netherlands. It is entered with British Marine on behalf of Wagenborg Shipping BV.