Oban lifeboat to cruise ship aground in Oban Bay

Cruise ship aground oban lifeboat

[Updated below 08.00 21st May] At this moment, 22.45, 20th May, Oban’s RNLI lifeboat, Mora Edith MacDonald, is assisting the cruise ship Serenissima which went aground whilst entering Oban Bay this evening.

Serenissima aground

The 87 metre cruise ship with 112 people on board was entering Oban Bay at 18:30 this evening when it ran aground on the Corran Ledge.

She is currently aground at the bow but still afloat at the stern.

The initial attempt at refloating the ship used its own engine with the lifeboat providing assistance by pulling at the stern. Unfortunately this attempt was hampered by a strong wind blowing the ship towards the shore, and was unsuccessful.

Cruiie ship aground 2

The lifeboat is now working with the crew of the ship to refloat it at a higher state of tide. Following this second attempt more details will be released.

Update 08.00 21st May: As we reported in a later story in the small hours this morning, Serenissima was refloated and had, at 01.29this morning,  got herself anchored off Kerrera, outside the deep channel used by the CalMac ferries.

The Oban Lifeboat Press Officer reports this morning that: ‘…by midnight the tide had risen sufficiently to allow a second attempt to refloat her to be made. A towline was passed to the ship’s starboard stern quarter. The lifeboat initially took the strain very slowly but, due to wind, repositioned the towline to the bow of the lifeboat to allow for more manoeuvrability. At 00.55 she started to move. The lifeboat kept a strong pull to keep the cruise ship’s stern off the shore. Using the cruise ship’s own bow thruster and engine she got clear .The lifeboat then returned to station.’

Note: The photographs accompanying this piece, provided by the Oban Lifeboat Press Officer, Iain Fulton, are reproduced courtesy of local photographer Stephen Lawson and Oban Lifeboat respectively.

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8 Responses to Oban lifeboat to cruise ship aground in Oban Bay

  1. Much more interesting than politics! Great pictures. Incredible that ships still run aground in this day and age. As ever, thanks to the lifeboat crews for attending.

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  2. Excellent photographs. You’ve certainly set the scene. Fundamental mistake by this small cruise vessel – but not the first to fall victim to the Corran Ledge.

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    • I’ve watched a couple of boats, also foreign as it happens, run onto the Corran Ledge. I’ve no doubt the bay’s three closely spaced cardinal buoys coupled with the problem of dealing with other marine traffic in very narrow channels leads the stranger into momentary disorientation, and that’s all it takes. Maybe a different buoyage sequence is in order for the northern entrance.

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  3. Never run aground with the anchor in the hawse pipe!

    (It works as a winch to pull the vessel back to where she came from in this case)Well done!
    As usual we will have to wait on the report to find out why she went on the wrong side of the buoy, same as when cars “leave the road”

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