For the first time in over 25 years the dry dock facility at Kishorn Port near Lochcarron in Wester Ross has been fully opened to the sea to allow a shipping vessel into the dock. This marks the start of a new chapter in the life of the dry dock, one of the largest in Europe.
In the early hours of Tuesday 5th May 2020, one of the 13,000 tonne dry dock gates was gently eased from its base and towed out into Loch Kishorn for temporary mooring.
The operation was completed following a week of detailed preparatory work to ready the gate for its move. This included removing the large gate seals which keep the dock dry; flooding the dock and pumping of water from inside the gate structure itself to allow it to float.
Weather and tidal conditions were ideal for floating and moving the gate. Smoke drifting over Loch Kishorn from a wildfire on the hillsides above Auchintraid provided an atmospheric backdrop to the operation.