Passengers rushed to hospital after 17 injured when world’s last ocean-going paddle steamer crashes

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Boat passengers have been rushed to hospital after 17 were injured when the world’s last ocean-going paddle steamer crashed into a pier on the Isle of Arran.

The Waverley crashed near the the ferry terminal in Brodick, western Scotland, at around 5.15pm on Thursday.

It is believed that 213 passengers and 26 crew were aboard the 74-year-old vessel, with a total of 17 injured and a number of those taken to hospital. 

A coastguard search and rescue helicopter from Prestwick was rushed to the scene, along with Arran coastguard rescue team.  

Boat passengers have reportedly suffered injuries on the Waverley paddle steamer (pictured after the crash) after it crashed near the the ferry terminal in Brodick, Isle of Arran, at around 5.15pm

Boat passengers have reportedly suffered injuries on the Waverley paddle steamer (pictured after the crash) after it crashed near the the ferry terminal in Brodick, Isle of Arran, at around 5.15pm

The paddle steamer (pictured departing from Glasgow last month) was due to arrive in Brodick at 5pm after leaving Greenock this morning

The paddle steamer (pictured departing from Glasgow last month) was due to arrive in Brodick at 5pm after leaving Greenock this morning

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Scottish Ambulance Service and Police Scotland are also attending.

The paddle steamer was due to arrive in Brodick at 5pm after leaving Greenock, near Glasgow, this morning.

An ambulance, fire engine and helicopter are at the scene and the number of passengers aboard is not yet known.

Gavin Saxby posted a photo showing the vessel’s bow badly damaged on social media.

He wrote: ‘Just on PS Waverley as they crashed it into the pier at Brodick, what a mess on board, lots of injuries, hope everyone recovers.’

Karren Mulligan said: ‘Wee trip on the Waverley today which was wonderful as I’ve waited 2 years to do it. Then it crashed.

‘Thankfully I’ve managed to get away with a few bumps and bruises but so many people got much worse.’

An ambulance, fire engine and helicopter are at the scene and the number of passengers aboard is not yet known. Pictured: Guests are welcomed on board the Paddle steamer Waverley on August 22

An ambulance, fire engine and helicopter are at the scene and the number of passengers aboard is not yet known. Pictured: Guests are welcomed on board the Paddle steamer Waverley on August 22

Rita McLeod, who was waiting to board the Waverley, told the BBC she saw people being taken away in ambulances.

She said: ‘We were actually queued up waiting to get in when it crashed. It came in bow first. It came in far too fast.

‘We saw a lot of people falling, a few people fell over. There were people taken away in ambulances. We saw a lot of people, pretty badly shaken, coming off.’

Alistair Wylie from Gourock, told InverclydeNow: ‘I heard the thud of the boat hitting the concrete pier. 

‘A Coastguard helicopter is landing now and the Coastguard, ambulance, police and fire brigade are all here.’

Pictured: Crew on board the Paddle steamer Waverley as it departs from Glasgow for a cruise along the River Clyde on August 22

Pictured: Crew on board the Paddle steamer Waverley as it departs from Glasgow for a cruise along the River Clyde on August 22

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: ‘HM Coastguard received a VHF broadcast at 5.28pm today from a paddle steamer reporting a collision with Brodick Pier on the Isle of Arran. 

‘A coastguard search and rescue helicopter from Prestwick has been sent, along with Arran coastguard rescue team. 

‘Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Scottish Ambulance Service and Police Scotland are at the scene.

‘The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has been informed. This is an ongoing incident and we have no further details at this time.’

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Scottish Ambulance Service and Police Scotland are at the scene

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Scottish Ambulance Service and Police Scotland are at the scene

Police Scotland said: ‘Police Scotland is currently in attendance at Brodick Ferry Terminal after an incident involving a steam boat, which happened at 5.15pm.’ 

The Waverley returned to the sea on August 22 for the first time in almost two years following major repairs.

An appeal for funding was launched last year after it was announced the paddle steamer would not sail in 2019.

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

An appeal for funding was launched last year after it was announced the paddle steamer would not sail in 2019. Pictured: The ship returns to sailing on the Clyde on August 22

An appeal for funding was launched last year after it was announced the paddle steamer would not sail in 2019. Pictured: The ship returns to sailing on the Clyde on August 22

Waverley’s 2020 sailing season was severely reduced due to Covid-19 from over five months to just a few weeks.

Passenger capacity was reduced to under 30 per cent resulting in an immediate funding crisis to meet the cost of the coming winter period.

The paddle steamer was built by A & J Inglis of Glasgow and first launched in October 1946.

In June 2009, it struck the breakwater at Dunoon with 700 passengers on board, 12 of whom suffered minor injuries.

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