Serious injuries as Waverley paddle steamer crashes into Arran pier

Emergency services have treated several passengers for spinal and head injuries following the crash.

At least 17 passengers suffered injuries after the Waverley paddle steamer crashed into a pier on the Isle of Arran. 

Police were called to the ferry terminal in Brodick at 5.15pm after the vessel, which is the world’s last seagoing paddle steamer, hit the pier. One passenger who was on the steamer said everyone on board was told to disembark and move away to allow ambulances to get past.

He told STV News: “We were on the way back into the ferry terminal at Brodick and they didn’t seem to slow down at the last minute as they normally do and all of a sudden there was a bang and most people that were standing up got knocked over as we came to a rapid stop.”

It is believed that 213 passengers and 26 crew were on board at the time of the collision. A total of 17 have reported injuries, and a number have been taken to hospital with head and spinal injuries.

Many of the boat’s passengers, some of whom are elderly, appeared to have been left stranded on the island and islanders offered them places to stay. The voyage was meant to be a day trip, but an emergency ferry was commissioned for 10:30 p.m. to help them get home.

James Mitchell, who was a passenger on the boat alongside his father, said they saw a number of casualties following the incident.

“Fortunately we were both sitting. My father’s 99, he’s got his back to the bow of the boat and we’re almost right at the bow, and there’s a big impact and the boat stopped very suddenly.

“We can see there are casualties on board with bandages and there were people obviously being treated by paramedics as we were coming off the boat. There’s obviously something serious going on.”

James Mitchell Senior added: “One fella got a back injury, that’s what the helicopter is waiting for. He’s not moved, the paramedics have been at him.”

The Waverley returned to the water last month for the first time in almost two years following major repairs.

An urgent appeal for funding was launched last year after it was announced that the Waverley, built in 1946, would not sail in 2019.

In just seven months £2.3m was raised by more than 8000 members of the public and £1m from the Scottish Government.

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