HM Coastguard have issued the latest regarding the Valaris D4 ship which is still situated in the middle of the channel between Hunterston and Cumbrae on Wednesday afternoon.

Three tugs including the large Kingdom of Fife vessel have been co-operating with the other drilling ship at Hunterston terminal, Ensco, and two additional tugs - named Boxer and Wrestler - are currently on their way to assist with the Valaris D4.

Engines have been restored on the vessel which broke away from its moorings last night sparking a major emergency rescue response.

Largs and Millport Weekly News:

A Coastguard spokesperson said: "The Maritime and Coastguard Agency through its Counter-Pollution officers and HM Coastguard continue to monitor a drill ship which broke loose from its mooring at Hunterston Terminal in Ayrshire yesterday evening (02 February).

"HM Coastguard received a mayday call just after 7.20pm after the ship, with eight crew on board, started to drift without power. The vessel was able to remain anchored off Hunterston.

"The engines have now been restored and the ship’s technical managers are working with the Port Authority to return the ship to a place of safety.

Largs and Millport Weekly News: Picture by Ian DalgleishPicture by Ian Dalgleish

"A moored vessel at the terminal has also required assistance in the worsening weather and is currently being helped to hold its position by four tugs.

"The Girvan RNLI lifeboat, senior coastal operations officers and coastguard rescue teams from across the area remain on scene to provide support.

The 105 meter drill ship, with eight crew on board, broke from its mooring at Hunterston Terminal amid 70mph winds.   

Troon and Largs RNLI lifeboats, the coastguard search and rescue helicopter from Prestwick and coastguard rescue teams from Largs, Ardrossan, Ayr, Gourock and Cumbrae were all sent out last night.

Largs and Millport Weekly News:

A spokesperson for Noah Shipmanagement who manage the Valaris DS4 said: "The vessel remains in position in the Hunterston Channel, safely anchored and with her engines and thrusters operational, should they be required.

"A crew of eight, including a Master and Chief Engineer are on board to work with the local authorities and Marine Coastguard Agency to prepare for the return of the vessel to the lay-up berth once the weather improves.

"The drill ship is anchored some 150/200 meters off the berth.  There were no injuries or pollution.   

"Managers wish to thank  the local Authorities and the Port Management for their timely and professional response to this incident."

Web front page photo: Todd Ferguson