Marine News

Sent in by John Kinsman. Featured image shows Cramond Island in the Forth of Firth, photo credit Richard Elliot

World’s largest vessel

The world’s largest vessel has been spending time in the Firth of Forth. Allseas Pioneering Spirit, the largest vessel of its type in the world, sailed into Fife last month. Measuring 382 metres long and 125 metres wide, the ship was there to transfer a top side drilling rig to the 200 metre long barge Iron Lady. With a lifting capacity of 48,000 tonnes the Pioneering Spirit is specially designed for single lift installation and removal of large offshore platforms.

The Pioneering Spirit was in the Firth of Forth for two days. The ship was visible from both sides of the Forth between Kirkcaldy and Largo Bay on the north and Aberlady and Gullane Bay. The vessel could be tracked via Marine Traffic.

The Iron Lady and it’s cargo disengaged from the Pioneering Spirit before being towed by tugs passing under the Forth Rail and Forth Road Bridge as well as the Queensferry crossing as it headed into the Port of Rosyth. The Iron Lady will be moored at the port for about eight weeks after which it will head for the Energy Park Fife at Methil Docks where its cargo will be offloaded ready for decommissioning.

The Allseas Pioneering Spirit

Cramond Island Rescue

On the first day of the easing of the latest lockdown, Coastguards had their first rescue on Cramond Island in the Forth of Firth when 13 adults and two infants were stranded on the island by the rising tide.

The drama involved the South Queensferry lifeboat and two Coastguard rescue teams. The stranded persons were taken to safety by lifeboat crews. Cramond Island is reached by a causeway but is covered by water at high tide. Coastguards fear there will be many more rescues on the islands and warn visitors to the island to heed the warning signs.

Five Paddle Boarders saved

Five paddle boarders were rescued from the River Tay after coming into difficulty in the water. The RNLI Broughty Ferry Lifeboat team were called out to assist the group who were unhurt but cold and scared.
Lifeboat volunteers quickly brought three of the paddle boarders back to shore before returning to recover another two. It is thought the paddle boarders panicked due to lack of experience.

Murray Brown Coxswain of the Lifeboat station said, “We were called out to somebody on a paddle board who was having a bit of a panic attack. There were a whole group of them out there so we went and lifted three of them to shore while one of our guys stayed with their paddle boards. Then we went back out to get them. There were another two round the side of the castle so we collected them as well. I think it was just a bit of inexperience on their part. It is a big river so I understand why you might get scared while out on it.”
Murray and his crew were called out to similar incidents during April.

Pilot Unhurt

A pilot of a light aircraft emerged unhurt after making an emergency landing on a Jura beach. The local Coastguard rescue team were airlifted to the scene at Shine Bay when the alarm was raised. Because of the inaccessible nature of the crash site it was decided to airlift the Coastguard team to secure the area and remove the wreckage above the tide. The sole occupant of the plane was not hurt and needed no medical treatment.

Information about John Kinsman, Marine Correspondent

John Kinsman on patrol at St Monans

Marine Correspondent John Kinsman was born in Cornwall and attended St Minver CP school. After leaving school John worked as a factory hand before joining the RAF. After a stint in the RAF John decided to become a reporter and joined a local news service as a freelance before moving to Scotland where he continued his freelance career and worked for several outlets. John has been Marine Correspondent for the Voice for Arran from its beginning under the editorship of Alison Prince.

John has been involved in rescue work for many years and at present is the operations manager for Coastwatch St Monans station, a position he has held for over 10 years. He has eight volunteers under his command and over the years has attended many incidents, including cliff rescues, missing persons and seafarers in trouble. John lives in St Monans, Fife, with his wife Anne who writes recipes for the Voice.