Fishing boat successfully pulled off rock by harbour tugs

The harbour pilot boat Knab tows the Rosebloom to Lerwick. Photo: Margaret Clark

The fishing boat which ran aground north of Lerwick Harbour in the early hours of Saturday was successfully pulled off later in the day.

The Inverness-registered Rosebloom (INS 353) got stuck on the “Soldian”, a rock which the current Lerwick lifeboat’s predecessor was named after.

The lifeboat was called out at 1.30am on Saturday and was on the scene just 10 minutes later, along with the Lerwick Port Authority tugs Kebister and Knab. Another fishing boat, the Faithlie, also arrived to assist.

The Knab tries to tow the boat off. Photo: Nate Bryant

Attempts by the lifeboat to tow the Rosebloom off were unsuccessful, however, with two tow lines breaking and the tide falling. Nine fishermen were taken off the boat around 4am, some said by the lifeboat service to have “only minor injuries”, and safely transferred to Lerwick before being taken into the care of the ambulance service.

Just before 1pm on Saturday, at high tide, the Knab and Kebister were successful in freeing the Rosebloom, with the lifeboat again standing by. She was towed to Lerwick for inspection.

Lifeboat deputy coxswain Tommy Goudie said: “The outcome of this grounding could have been a lot worse. Thanks to fair weather and the combined efforts of ourselves and Lerwick Port Authority vessels, the fishing crew are safe, and the vessel is now safely in harbour.

Waves break over the Soldian rock with the Rosebloom stranded. Photo: Nate Bryant

“The crew did the right thing by contacting the coastguard as soon as they knew they needed help. They were wearing survival suits and life jackets and deployed their life raft in case it became necessary.

“Our crew are always ready to respond and we’re pleased to be able to assist.”


Add Your Comment
  • Craig Masson

    • November 18th, 2019 19:48

    Curious of etymology of Soldian. Quick search did not find anything on internet. Anyone?

    PS. Glad Rosebloom incident was not more serious.

  • Robert Wishart

    • November 19th, 2019 16:38

    The Soldian rock has been there quite a while! As one hundred-plus year-old pilot book notes: “When there is a swell upon the coast, its position is always shown by breakers.” Nate’s fine photo proves the point. And nowadays it’s marked by a south cardinal mark as well. The name is odd right enough. Never thought about it. How about it comes from Old Norse for a corn-measure? Nah? According to Unkans issue 43, page four: “There is a very good parallel in the name Da Soldian, given to an offshore rock with steep shelving sides north of Bressay. That name derives from Old Norse sáld, a corn-measurement which also gave its name to a tub.” No idea if that is right or not – and who cares on the internet? – but see

  • Brian Smith

    • November 19th, 2019 18:20

    It’s pretty clear that Soldian is derived from Old Norse såld, a measurement of weight or a barrel holding that amount of grain. I understand the sides of the rock are smooth like a barrel.


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