Mysterious floating pipeline off Moray beach is finally repaired

Marine Engineers deal with the floating pipe off Lossiemouth (pic: Sheila Forbes)
Marine Engineers deal with the floating pipe off Lossiemouth (pic: Sheila Forbes)

THE LOOSE PIPELINE that was considered to be a threat to boats navigating close to the shore at Lossiemouth’s West Beach has finally been repaired.

The outflow pipe was exclusively reported by insideMoray at the start of September when it was spotted by environmental campaigner Pete Miners.

Mr Miners had contacted various authorities when he spotted the pipeline floating at high tide – far enough offshore to present a danger to local fishing boats. Initial attempts to identify who was responsible for the pipeline, however, fell on deaf ears with police and coastguard advising him that the pipe was “secure and not a problem”.

It eventually emerged that the structure was an outflow pipe carrying oil and chemical waste from nearby RAF Lossiemouth. Eventually SEPA took control of the situation, carrying out dye-testing on the pipe that revealed that it had not been damaged and so there was no immediate environmental danger.

The environmental agency, however, ordered an inspection of the pipe by divers, telling Mr Miners: “No adverse impact on human health or the environment is expected from this situation – the system is operating within its remit and the treated effluent is still receiving dilution, and there are divers on site to assess the pipe and take any relevant remedial action.”

Yesterday a vessel turned up to secure the pipe ahead of the winter months.

A spokesman for the Lossiemouth Community Council said: “We are glad to see that action has been taken to ensure that the loose pipeline does not cause any issues and is secured ahead of the winter.

“It was a concern and we are grateful to Mr Miners for his persistence in reporting the loose pipe in the first instance and then ensuring that the correct authority took charge of the situation.”

A recent report by visitors to the beach indicated that a “dead whale” was spotted just off the shore – it is believed the floating pipe had been the subject of mistaken identity.