Some of you maybe aware that the Norwegian motor vessel Kaami ran aground on a reef known locally as Eugenie Rock six nautical miles north west off Duntulm on Skye on Monday 23rd March, shortly before 1:50am.
The rescue of the crew was co-ordinated by Stornoway coastguard. A rescue helicopter was scrambled, and Portree Lifeboat was launched at 2.24am in response to a mayday call from the cargo ship, which was heading to Slite in Sweden from Drogheda in Ireland. Eight Russian seafarers on board were airlifted to Stornoway by the helicopter. The rescue was hampered by strong winds and stormy seas stirred up by force nine southerly winds. The Portree lifeboat, coastguard tug Ievoli Black, and lighthouse board ship, MV Pharos, also went to the scene but were stood down around 4:30am after the successful rescue by the helicopter.
She was carrying a cargo of pelletised refuse-derived fuel and there are fears that some pollution is likely. Salvage experts have inspected the vessel and, given the prevailing sea conditions in the Minch, any hydrocarbons are likely to disperse and break up long before reaching the shore. There are hopes that it will be possible to boom around the vessel to capture and recover any possible pollution. This operation will be managed by the Marine and Coastguard Agency using the national stockpile of counter pollution equipment.
Vessels have been standing by the Kaami since she went ashore a week ago and today there are a number of tugs and a dive support vessel in the vicinity so work to survey and refloat the vessel is in hand. The 2715gt. steel bulk cargo ship was launched in 1994 from the yard of J G Bijlholt, Foxhol, Netherlands, she is around 89m long and 13.2m wide.