The Coastguard asked for the Stornoway and Leverburgh RNLI to assist with a cargo vessel that suffered engine failure off the Isle of Lewis

The Coastguard received a pan pan VHF Radio broadcast from the MV FAME cargo ship on Thursday (14 December) before 5.30pm, reporting that it had suffered engine failure and was drifting 1.2 nm offshore the Isle of Lewis in a SSW direction.

Whilst waiting for the lifeboats to arrive on scene, the five crew onboard managed to deploy both anchors to try and stop the vessel from grounding , despite battling force 8-10 winds and a swell of up to 6-8 metres.

The HM Coastguard search and rescue helicopter based at Stornoway and the RNLI Stornoway and Leverburgh all-weather lifeboats were deployed to the scene to provide immediate assistance. The MCA’s Emergency Towing Vessel Ievoli Black was also tasked to the location.
The Coastguard helicopter was on standby in case it needed to evacuate the crew, but MV FAME drifted clear of rocks.

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Leverburgh Lifeboat was stood down early this morning (15 December), however the Stornoway lifeboat still remains on scene to provide assistance.

Ievoli Black arrived on scene early in the morning and a tow was established. Plans are currently in place to tow MV FAME to a safe area.

The Scottish Environmental Group and Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) are being kept updated and the Secretary of State’s Representative (SOSREP) for Maritime Salvage is monitoring the situation.

HM Coastguard Commander Peter Davies commented: “We are continuing to monitor the situation to avoid any risk to the remaining crew and damage to the vessel.  The five crew currently onboard and the RNLI All Weather Lifeboats have been battling bad weather conditions all night to keep the vessel from grounding and we have so far managed to stabilise the vessel from drifting further.  The vessel is currently 6nm from the Isle of Harris and we just established a tow this morning so the vessel can be taken to a safe shelter away from the prevailing weather conditions. We will provide further updates as we receive them.”