At 1505 on 28 March 2020, the Gibraltar registered chemical tanker Key Bora ran aground when on its final approach to the pier at the fish producer Mowi’s facility at Kyleakin, Isle of Skye, Scotland. Key Bora was aground for about 12 minutes before re-floating, and then being berthed under its own power. Key Bora’s hull was damaged and there was flooding into ballast tanks; however, there was no injury or pollution. The grounding happened because the bridge team relied on locally produced survey data that did not show a boulder obstruction near the pier. This survey data appeared to the crew to be reliable and accurate, so was preferred to the ECDIS data, which did show the obstruction. The investigation also identified safety management issues at Mowi’s Kyleakin facility, including that the Port Marine Safety Code was not fully implemented.

Safety Issues
• the passage plan needs to be based on the most accurate hydrographic information available; advice should be sought or the ‘most dangerous’ data used if there is a conflict

• ECDIS safety features should be utilised to warn of danger ahead

• the Port Marine Safety Code provides important guidance to assure safe maritime operations in ports and harbours

Our report makes a recommendation to Mowi Scotland Limited to ensure that marine operations at Kyleakin follow the guidance in the Port Marine Safety Code (2021/134), and to consider upgrading the facility to a statutory harbour authority (2021/135).

Source: MAIB