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Last Updated: Saturday, 2 February 2008, 01:23 GMT
Salvage studies on stricken boat
The Spinningdale. (Pic: PA/MCA)
The trawler was wedged among rocks and a cliff
A number of salvage companies are looking at recovering a trawler which ran aground on rocks on St Kilda, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said.

Fourteen crew were rescued from the Spinningdale by a Stornoway Coastguard helicopter on Friday.

The MCA said pollution as a result of the vessel's grounding on Hirta was not considered to be a serious concern.

St Kilda, a group of islands lying 44 miles west of Benbecula, is a World Heritage Site.

If any rats aboard the vessel get ashore as they could put the seabird colony at risk
Abbie Patterson

Powerful wind and waves were expected to disperse oil lost from the trawler.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch will launch an investigation into the incident.

Meanwhile, the National Trust for Scotland has expressed concern that the grounding may lead to rats being introduced to the islands for the first time, threatening the rare bird species which thrive on St Kilda.

Abbie Patterson, the Trust's national species recovery officer, said: "This is potentially very worrying if any rats aboard the vessel get ashore as they could put the seabird colony at risk by eating eggs and chicks.

"We can't be complacent about this as rats can cause huge problems by decimating seabird colonies."

National Trust's Susan Bain on the risk the rats pose

Island fears over 'trawler rats'
02 Feb 08 |  Highlands and Islands
Crew rescued from stricken boat
01 Feb 08 |  Highlands and Islands

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