Call for MAIB to investigate ‘swerving’ incident

A call has been made for last week’s NorthLink ferry incident – in which the Hrossey “swerved” violently to avoid another vessel – to be investigated.

Isles MSP Tavish Scott has insisted the Marine Accident Investigation Branch should probe the near miss, which saw the Hrossey take evasive action to avoid an anchored supply vessel on her approach into Kirkwall in thick fog last Friday.

Around 500 people were onboard at the time of the incident, which caused the vessel to list more than she normally would.

People reported bottles and glasses in the bar being smashed and passengers being pushed against a wall as the ferry made a sudden and dramatic turn to the left.

Mr Scott has also raised questions as to why Serco – the operator behind the NorthLink name – first refused to comment on the incident, before later backtracking and issuing a statement.

“This incident needs to be independently assessed by the organisation charged with looking into marine incidents,” said Mr Scott.

“No accident happened and the Hrossey’s crew should be credited with that. But why did Serco first say nothing happened and then accept there was some kind of manoeuvre that was far from the ordinary?

“This is Shetland’s lifeline shipping service. We all depend on it, so the MAIB is best placed to look into this incident. I trust they will now do this.”


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