Page last updated at 10:04 GMT, Wednesday, 23 July 2008 11:04 UK

St Kilda wreck to stay until 2009

Trawler, Spinningdale
A National Trust manager said removing the wreck was complex

The wreck of a trawler that ran aground on the World Heritage Site of St Kilda will remain there until at least next year, the National Trust has said.

A total of 14 Spanish crew members were winched to safety from the Spinningdale when it was driven onto rocks on the main island of Hirta in February.

Oil and other bits of equipment were removed to reduce the pollution risk.

But some fishing nets and long lines remain onboard because they were too difficult to recover.

The National Trust for Scotland (NTS) looks after St Kilda and the remote archipelago is one of the world's most important seabird habitats.

'Shallow water'

Susan Bain, NTS manager for the Western Isles, said: "The vessel itself - at the moment - is not a hazard because all the dangerous materials have just about been removed from it.

"It's not in keeping with a World Heritage Site to have a wreck, however, to salvage a vessel from St Kilda is very complicated.

"The wreck is in shallow water so it's not going to be a straightforward salvage operation."

She said there were a number of issues which had to be considered.

"We have to look at not just the safety of the removal of the vessel, but also if removing it is the correct thing to do," she added.

"From an environmental point of view, removing the vessel may cause more damage - so we have to consider those issues."

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