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Marine / Busy weekend for coastguard

SHIPPING has been warned to be aware of a number of floating containers lost from a container ship in the Pentland Firth in heavy seas during Saturday’s storm.

Two of these empty containers have been reported ashore in South Hoy, in Orkney.

The new ETV Ievoli Black - Photo: MCAThe emergency towing vessel Ievoli Black.

The Northern Isles emergency towing vessel Ievoli Black was initially acting as a guard vessel after she had returned from trying to reach a large cargo vessel suffering from engine failure north west of Shetland.

The ETV, berthed at Kirkwall harbour, was tasked on Saturday morning and battled through heavy seas to an area to the northwest of Foula.

However, the cargo ship reported that repairs had been successfully completed and the ETV was stood down.

Tracking the Eagle Bintulu.

Meanwhile, concern has been raised locally about the fully laden Malaysia registered tanker Eagle Bintulu sheltering to the east of Shetland for the last few days as well as during the weekend’s south easterly storms.

A spokesperson for KIMO, the international environmental pressure group of local authorities, said he had no information on this particular ship but added that this year had seen at least two events that highlighted the potentially devastating impact that oil spills can have on coastal communities.

“In July, the Wakashio grounded off Mauritius and in September a serious explosion killed a member of the crew on the New Diamond tanker off Sri Lanka. Both accidents saw significant amounts of oil end up in the sea, harming wildlife and threatening the fishing and tourism industries,” he said.

“While these events happened far away, many of the rules that govern safety on ships are set at the global level.

“By working together through KIMO, local governments from around the North Sea have called for new international laws and regulations to reduce the risk of oil spills.”