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Sunday, 29 October, 2000, 15:22 GMT
Crew rescued from cargo ship
Electron
Six crew members were airlifted from the ship
The crew of a Norwegian cargo ship which ran aground on St Kilda have been forced to abandon the vessel - less than 36 hours after it was refloated.

Stornoway coastguard said the captain and five crew members were winched to safety by rescue helicopter in hurricane force winds.

They were forced to abandon the 1,600-tonne Elektron as it was being towed to Liverpool by a Russian tug.

The vessel had been stranded for 12 days on the Scottish island after running aground.

The Elektron was refloated on Friday night, but hit mountainous seas and violent storm 11 to hurricane force 12 winds on Sunday morning.

Rescue helicopter

At about 0630 GMT, while the ship was 30 miles from Barra Head, the captain called Stornoway coastguard.

He said that he feared for the lives of himself and his crew, and asked to be taken off the vessel.

The six people on board were winched off by the coastguard rescue helicopter and are recovering in Stornoway.

The Elektron has continued its journey under tow to Liverpool - with no-one on board.

The supply vessel was carrying 45,000 litres of red diesel and 78,000 litres of lubricating oil when it ran aground on St Kilda.

The oil was transferred from the Elektron to tanks on the island after fears of a pollution risk to the area.

St Kilda is owned by The National Trust for Scotland and is a world-renowned nature and bird life haven.

Fifteen people were rescued by helicopter after the ship ran aground in severe weather.

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19 Oct 00 | Scotland
Ship refloating plan launched
16 Oct 00 | Scotland
Ferry passengers and crew rescued
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