Video: Grounded Freighter Scrapped at Drydock Basin in NW Scotland

Kaami prior to the refloat (Resolve Marine)

Published Jul 10, 2020 1:52 PM by The Maritime Executive

The freighter Kaami, which grounded off the Isle of Skye in March and was refloated in May, has been dismantled at a long-disused drydock basin in Loch Kishorn, Scotland. A newly-released video produced by the recycling firm shows the unusual nature of the drydock facility, which is formed in the shape of a round basin carved into the natural rock of the shore.

The Kaami went aground in the early hours of March 23 on rocks between the Isle of Skye and the Isle of Lewis. She was carrying eight Russian crewmembers and 1,900 tons of SRF (solid recovered fuel) pellets, a bulk fuel product derived from waste. The crew was safely evacuated and the owners contracted with Resolve Marine for pollution prevention and salvage.

Once the salvage team was able to board and assess the situation, the first priority was to remove the vessel’s bunkers: she carried roughly 63 tonnes of fuel, and an early estimate from the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency indicated that she may have released roughly 25-30 cubic meters of diesel in the first few days after the wreck.

Once the fuel was removed, the team’s attention turned to the 1,900 tons of SRF pellets cargo, which posed a significant environmental threat. The lightering effort proceeded successfully, despite challenging weather conditions, strong currents and extreme tides. 

In early May, after 43 days of work, the salvage team refloated the Kaami using a combination of salvage patches and compressed air. The vessel was towed off the site and safely delivered to Loch Kishorn, a bay about 70 road miles from Inverness on Scotland's northwest coast. After her arrival, the team closed the drydock's gate, drained the water and turned the vessel over to the recycling firm for demolition.