Anchor Points Snap!

Shocking scenes: aerial photos of the Isle of May this morning wedged against the Fife coast (Graeme Duncan)
Satellite images showing the new location of the Isle of May (Graeme Duncan)

Thursday 1st April comments:

Isle of May anchor points snap!

Island residents on one of Scotland’s most important national nature reserves woke today to the shocking news that their island has moved. Overnight It appears the anchor points of the island have snapped following yesterday’s strong north-easterly winds which have then pushed the island out of position. The Island has drifted up river in the Firth of Forth and wedged itself against the nearby coastlines.

In an almost repeat of the recent Suez event, the island finds itself jammed against the banksides of the Forth although authorities are counting their blessings as the island has come within 500m of hitting the world famous Forth Rail Bridge, the main rail link to Scotland, before becoming wedged.

An investigation is now underway to discover why and how the anchor chains snapped and the island drifted upriver without detection. The area is now a clear danger to shipping and as the Forth is a major shipping route (over 12% of Scotland’s entire cargo trade use the Forth) there will be obvious economic impact if the situation is not resolved soon.

Reserve managers David and Bex who live on the island commented “we woke this morning to a thump and a jolt as the island wedged against the Lothian and Fife coasts”. However their was reassurance for the public that the grounding will not have any detrimental effect for the breeding seabirds as David mentioned “although the island has drifted, there is a clear line of sight out to the open North Sea so the thousands of Puffins will still be able to come and go as usual. However for now the residents of Lothian and Fife have a new puffin filled island on their doorstep for the time being, so enjoy whilst it lasts”

A spokesperson for NatureScot commented that they are now working closely with Transport Scotland to look at solutions to tow the island back into position We’ll keep you posted on the developing story as it happens. Stay tuned.

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