A wellboat, understood to be the Settler, pictured after grounding in the Glenelg area yesterday. A lifeboat and two farm service vessels from other companies that came to offer help can be seen in the background.

Grounded wellboat may be refloated today

Hopes of freeing vessel at high tide after it became ‘firmly stuck’


An attempt was expected to be made today to refloat a wellboat that ran aground north of Glenelg on the west coast of Scotland yesterday evening.

The vessel is understood to be the Settler, a 40-metre vessel with a draft of 4.7 metres. It is operated by Shetland-based Ocean Farm Services and has a well capacity of 650 cubic metres.

The vessel can be used for a variety fish farming tasks including harvesting, grading, smolt transport, hydrogen peroxide or freshwater treatments, site movements, and fish counting.

In a Facebook post yesterday, the RNLI said that at 6.40pm the UK Coastguard requested both Kyle and Portree lifeboats be launched, with the Kyle boat arriving at 6.55pm and the Kyle boat at 7.55pm.

No injuries

No one was injured, but due to the rapidly receding tide the wellboat was “firmly stuck aground”, said the RNLI, and it was decided to take the crew off the stricken boat.

Andrew MacDonald, spokesman for Kyle RNLI Lifeboat, said yesterday: “The vessel ran aground around the time of high tide, therefore by the time ourselves and other assistance arrived on scene, there was no way we could get the boat refloated.

“The decision was made to take the crew off the vessel overnight for their own safety, and at the next high tide in the morning, there will be attempts made to refloat the boat.”

The first high tide was at around 7am, and the next will be at 7pm. 

The area where the vessel grounded is a relatively narrow strait between the mainland and Kylerhea, Skye.

In a Facebook post, RNLI Portree said: "Testament to the mariners code two 'rival' fish farm companies sent their vessels to help without hesitation, a big thank you to those involved."

The wellboat on the rocks.
The wellboat seen from the Kyle lifeboat Spirit of Fred. Olsen