Fire on ship ‘won’t delay Wemyss Bay work’

MV Grete Fighter pictured at the Inchgreen repair facility in Port Glasgow following an engine room fire on board the ship. (Pic - Brian Sydney)

MV Grete Fighter pictured at the Inchgreen repair facility in Port Glasgow following an engine room fire on board the ship. (Pic - Brian Sydney)

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An electrical fire on board a dredger brought in to carry out work at Wemyss Bay pier is not expected to delay major repairs, the terminal’s owners have said.

The blaze broke out in the engine room of MV Grete Fighter and damaged the vessel’s main engine and one diesel generator.

The ship, which was near Wemyss Bay when the fire broke out on the evening of Monday, October 26, lost propulsion power as a result of the incident, and two tugs had to be dispatched to tow the vessel to safety.

She was taken first to Greenock’s Great Harbour, where local firefighters used thermal imaging cameras to ensure there was no risk of the blaze re-igniting, and then to the Inchgreen repair facility in Port Glasgow.

Brian Sydney from the pier’s owners, Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited, said repairs were expected to take around four weeks.

Speaking at CMAL’s latest Rothesay drop-in event to update Bute residents on progress at Wemyss Bay, Mr Sydney said dredging work at the pier had been due to start in December, but the ship had been brought in in the hope of making an earlier start to that aspect of the work.

Mr Sydney said he now expected the dredging work - which should last for between two and three weeks, and is aimed at making it easier for the Rothesay-Wemyss Bay ferries to berth at the facility - to begin in line with the original schedule.

The terminal is due to re-open in March 2016.