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breaking news

New tugs take ship under control in Scapa Flow

The new tugs were on scene at the Vega Scorpio this afternoon.
(The Orcadian/Craig Taylor)

Orkney’s two new tugs have provided a rapid response after a freight vessel at anchor in Scapa Flow began to drag her moorings in severe winds.

The Vega Scorpio is on long-term anchorage in the Flow, and began to drag her anchor this afternoon.

There are also two rigs in the Flow at the moment, the Stena Don and Stena Spey, as well as the accommodation platform Safe Caledonia, with the Stena Don the closest to the ship.

Orkney Marine Services were advised at 12.45pm that the ship was dragging her moorings as the wind gusted to 60 knots.

Odin of Scapa and Thor of Scapa were already on standby because of the weather conditions. The two tugs were deployed within 15 minutes.

By 13.45pm they had lines on board, and were holding the Vega Scorpio. A Marine Services pilot also went on board the ship, with further assistance provided by local company Orcades Marine.

“The tugs and our crews performed extremely well,” said Jim Buck, Orkney Islands Council’s harbour master and head of marine services and transportation.

“It was a flawless response which brought the situation under control very quickly,” he added.

The vessel will be moved to another anchorage in the Flow once the wind strength reduces.