This hear has been marked by some very severe weather and flooding all over the UK. Particularly badly hit was the port of Aberdeen, which was closed at times due to the heavy swell just outside the harbour entrance during the early part of the year.

After continuous rain and high winds for four days, the 5,420dwt oil products tanker Shannon Fisher decided to brave the elements and set sail. The tanker is operated on a regular service that links Immingham with Aberdeen, Inverness, Scapa and Lerwick, and so often faces inclement weather.

Her captain has a certificate to sail into the near 3m swell at the piers, which was probably 5m further out. On 6 January, with only a blast of rain on a bitterly cold south easterly wind, she put out.

Built by Damen at Bergum, Netherlands in 2006, and operated by Fisher Shipping Services of Barrow in Furness, the Bahamas-flagged vessel quite easily coped with the conditions, but the incident illustrates what our seafarers face in bad winters. RC

See April 2016 issue of Ships Monthly for more cargo vessel news.

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