Gael Force on Mowi feed barge sinking: “We have no reason to issue notice to other barge users or take any action”

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Vessel was overwhelmed by heavy seas and is still lying in 20m (65ft) of water.

Last Friday, a Mowi SeaCap feed barge carrying 170 tonnes of fish feed and 1,000 litres of diesel fuel sunk near Lochboisdale on South Uist, Scotland. Mowi said there was no evidence of fuel or feed escaping from sealed containers on the barge.

Feed barge manufacturers, the Inverness-based Gael Force, emailed SalmonBusiness with the following.

“On Thursday 17th January 2019, we were informed that a SeaCap Feed Barge operated by Mowi Scotland had sunk at Lochboisdale, Uist. We have indicated to Mowi that we remain fully at their disposal to support and assist in any way we can with investigations and recovery.”

The company added that: “We have no reason to issue notice to other barge users or take any action and we recommend that all barge operators continue to ensure good seamanship practice and that safety, maintenance and operational guidance continues to be followed.”

SalmonBusiness contacted a large salvage company in the area who said they were waiting to bid on a tender for the job.

A spokesperson for Mowi said that there is no update on the barge yet, but they are continuing to monitor to ensure fuel and feed remain contained onboard. The company is waiting for a weather break so they can remove the fuel and prep the barge for recovery.

SEPA also confirmed its involvement in the recovery. “Every day SEPA works to protect and enhance Scotland’s environment. SEPA was notified on Thursday 17th January of an incident involving a feed barge near Lochboisdale, Uist. We understand that the barge was closed at the time of sinking and are working with MOWI and other relevant agencies to help ensure the safe recovery of the barge, ” a spokesperson said in an email.