Department for Transport News

16 Dec 2021

MAIB Report: Grounding and flooding of the chemical tanker Key Bora, Isle of Skye, 28 March 2020

MAIB Report: Grounding and flooding of the chemical tanker Key Bora, Isle of Skye, 28 March 2020: KeyBora VslImage-CrMarineTraffic

Report on the investigation of the grounding and flooding of the chemical tanker Key Bora in the approaches to Kyleakin pier, Isle of Skye


At 15.05 on 28 March 2020, the Gibraltar registered chemical tanker Key Bora ran aground when on its final approach to the pier at the fish producer Mowi’s facility at Kyleakin, Isle of Skye. Key Bora was aground for about 12 minutes before re-floating, and then being berthed under its own power. Key Bora’s hull was damaged and there was flooding into ballast tanks, however, there was no injury or pollution.

The grounding happened because the bridge team relied on locally produced survey data that did not show a boulder obstruction near the pier. This survey data appeared to the crew to be reliable and accurate, so was preferred to the ECDIS data, which did show the obstruction.

This investigation also identified safety management issues at Mowi’s Kyleakin facility, including that the Port Marine Safety Code was not fully implemented.

 Safety issues:

  • The passage plan needs to be based on the most accurate hydrographic information available; advice should be sought or the ‘most dangerous’ data used if there is a conflict.
  • ECDIS safety features should be utilised to warn of danger ahead.
  • The Port Marine Safety Code provides important guidance to assure safe maritime operations in ports and harbours.

Safety recommendations:

  • Safety recommendations have been made to Mowi (Scotland) to ensure that operations at the Kyleakin facility are conducted in accordance with the Port Marine Safety Code, and to consider upgrading the area to Statutory Harbour Authority.

Contact Information

Anna Withrington
Head of External Communications Air, Marine and Rail Accident Investigation Branches
Accident Investigation Branches (AIBs)
01932 440015

Notes to editors

  • Image credits: Key Bora main image (below) should be credited to Marine Traffic
  • A copy of the Report and Annexes are available for media to download below. The Report will be published on the MAIB website at 10am.