Cranes on site as probe at dock where vessel toppled over continues

The ship toppled to a 45 degree angle on March 22, leaving 35 people injured.

Cranes on site as probe at Leith dry dock where US Navy vessel toppled over continues STV News

A probe into why a vessel toppled over in an Edinburgh dry dock, leaving 35 people injured, is continuing with specialist cranes at the scene.

The ship, owned by the US Navy, tipped over to a 45-degree angle on March 22 this year resulting in investigations by both the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Police Scotland.

The incident resulted in a largescale emergency response at the dry dock, operated by Dales Marine Services.

Officers remain at the scene and, on Thursday, a police car could be seen as workers operated the cranes and moved around the stricken 3,371-tonne vessel.

A HSE spokesman said: “Specialist inspectors from HSE are assessing the technical aspects of the structural collapse and continue to work with Police Scotland on the investigation into this incident.”

The 76m-long Petrel was once owned by the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who bought the ship to locate historically significant shipwrecks and discovered 30 sunken warships, including the Japanese Imperial Navy’s IJN Musashi.

The Petrel, owned by the US Navy, was left leaning at a 45-degree angle in the dry dock.@Tomafc83 /Twitter

However, in 2022 the Isle of Man-registered vessel was sold to the US Navy and is now operated by American-owned firm Oceaneering International.

The Petrel has been moored at Imperial Dry Dock in Leith since September 3, 2020 due to “operational challenges” from the pandemic.

After it tipped over, a huge emergency service operation was launched, which included trauma teams, an air ambulance and the Coastguard, who all worked for hours to rescue people off the ship.

Some 35 people were injured, with 23 taken to hospital and 12 others treated at the scene.

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Officers are working with the Health and Safety Executive.

“Inquiries are ongoing to establish the full circumstances.”

The US Navy and Oceaneering International have been approached for comment.

In a statement on Dales Marine Services’ website, it said it “continues to liaise with the emergency services and relevant authorities in dealing with the incident” and at this time it “cannot comment any further”.