After the better part of a year laid up in the sheltered waters of Loch Striven, the first of the six Maersk container ships to arrive in the loch was carefully extracted from the middle of the formation.
In a carefully planned and well executed manouvre, the raft was initially separated by four Svitzer tugs, two made fast to each of the outermost ships, MAERSK BOSTON and MAERSK BROOKLYN.
While SVITZER MILFORD, SVITZER LAURA, SVITZER BRUNEL and SVITZER WATERSTON held the two groups of ships out of the way, AYTON CROSS and ANGLEGARTH carefully drew SEALAND PERFORMANCE forward.
Also in attendance were the workboat LYRAWA BAY, working for Svitzer since the ships arrived on the Clyde last year, and Clydeport's workboat TORCH.
As SEALAND PERFORMANCE was moved forward and clear of the raft, she slowly recovered the cable from her starboard anchor, but then problems became apparent. Her port anchor was fouled by one of those from another of the ships.
As attempts were made to retrieve the port anchor, SEALAND PERFORMANCE was turned in the hope that doing so would clear the anchor. Unfortunately, all attempts to free it were defied, and it remained on the loch bottom. TORCH then manoeuvred herself into position, and the cable was burned through, thus freeing the ship. Meanwhile, the four tugs still made fast the the other ships carefully brought the raft back together.