Diving support ship Bibby Topaz refloats after running aground in Lerwick Harbour
A large diving support vessel has refloated herself after running aground off Lerwick Harbour. The 106-metre, 2,403 tonne Bibby Topaz hit rocks at Greenhead in the early hours of this morning.
The vessel had 100 people, including a pilot, onboard at the time of the incident, although no-one suffered any injuries. She was leaving the harbour bound for the Gryphon oilfield 110 miles east south east of Shetland.
The vessel, which went aground at the bow just off the shore at around 1.20am, had the assistance of a manoeuvring tug at the time.
This morning Shetland Coastguard said the ship’s owners were trying to arrange a tug to carry out a commercial tow and would wait for high tide after 2pm. However as the tide rose the vessel floated free at around 11.40am. She is now alongside again at Greenhead.
Lerwick Port Authority is to mount an investigation but chief executive Sandra Laurenson said that the cause of the accident was unknown.
She said: “The ship has suffered some damage to its hull and it does have a hole in a water ballast tank, but no damage occurred to any of the oil storage tanks.”
Ms Laurenson said there was no pollution as a reult of the accident.
A spokesman for Bibby Offhosre said: “The vessel will undergo a detailed inspection to assess any damage that might have been caused by the grounding. All the crew remain safe and well and there has been no incidence of any environmental damage or pollution. Bibby Offshore would like to thank the authorities for their assistance in this matter.”
The dive support ship also suffered a minor collision with a seismic vessel, the Ocean Explorer, in Lerwick harbour in September 2009 due to strong winds.