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Health and safety

Poor survey data led to Isle of Skye tanker grounding

16 December 2021

A chemical tanker ran aground in the approaches to Kyleakin pier in the Isle of Skye after 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, an investigation found.

The Marine Accident and Investigation Branch (MAIB) identified safety management issues at fish producer Mowi (Scotland) Kyleakin facility, where the Gibraltar-registered tanker was due to dock. It found the Port Marine Safety Code was not fully implemented at the facility.

MAIB recommended:

The passage plan needs to be based on the most accurate hydrographic information available; advice should be sought or the 'most dangerous' data used if there is a conflict

  • ECDIS safety features should be utilised to warn of danger ahead
  • To consider upgrading the area to Statutory Harbour Authority

Key Bora ran aground at 15:05 on 28 March 2020, when on its final approach to the pier at Mowi's facility.

Key Bora was aground for about 12 minutes before re-floating and was berthed under its own power. Key Bora's hull was damaged and there was flooding into ballast tanks, however, there was no injury or pollution.


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