Tayside and Central Scotland

Vessel drifting in the North Sea to be reconnected

Safe Bristolia accommodation vessel Image copyright Prosafe
Image caption The Safe Bristolia accommodation vessel is drifting in the North Sea, with 33 people on board.

An accommodation vessel with 33 people on board is adrift in the North Sea.

The Safe Bristolia vessel was being relocated from Cromarty Firth to Gdansk, Poland, when a towing line snapped on Sunday morning.

An attempt to reconnect the tow will be made on Tuesday - if weather conditions improve.

The crew are all accounted for and preparing for the recovery operation. If necessary, the vessel can drop its anchors to stop further drifting.

It is currently drifting about 120 miles east of Montrose, after a towline which connected the vessel to a tugboat snapped in high seas.

When in operation the so-called flo-tel is moored by eight anchors, some of which could be dropped.

But the company using the vessel, Prosafe, said it is more convenient to wait until it is possible to try to re-establish the tow.

A spokeswoman said: "Since the vessel is in open water east of Scotland and the original tow vessel is still in attendance, it is more convenient to wait and Prosafe have secured a second anchor handling vessel that is currently en route to support the recovery operation.

"Weather conditions are gradually improving and we estimate that we will attempt to re-establish the tow Tuesday 5 January."

A spokeswoman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: "There is a tug on scene, with another one on the way and HM Coastguard carries out hourly position checks.

"There is no immediate danger to vessel, shipping or the environment. An action plan is being prepared for the Safe Bristolia."

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites