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Man dies after falling ill on ferry in the Highlands

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A 79-year-old man has died after falling ill on board a ferry in the north of Scotland.

The male passenger is understood to have boarded the Pentland Ferry service at Gills Bay to travel to St Margaret’s Hope in Orkney.

Mid-voyage across the Pentland Firth the passenger began to feel unwell, leading the captain to return to Caithness to meet awaiting paramedics.

Despite their best efforts, the man died a short time later.

In a statement released by police, a spokesman said: “Police Scotland was made aware of a 79-year-old man having taken unwell on board the ferry between St Margaret’s Hope and Gill’s Bay during the morning of Tuesday, September 17.

“Sadly the man was pronounced dead a short time later. There are no suspicious circumstances and a report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal in due course.”

Shetland Coastguard first received reports of the incident shortly after 10am, requesting an ambulance to meet the inbound ferry.

One ambulance was conveyed to the terminal after receiving the call at 10.18am.

An ambulance spokesman said: “We received a call at 10.18 hours to attend an incident at the Gill Bays Ferry Terminal. We dispatched one ambulance to the scene.”

Pentland Ferries took to social media to inform customers that their 5pm and 6.45pm crossing were cancelled due to “unforeseen circumstances”.

A spokesman said: “We apologise for any inconvenience and thank all passengers for their patience.”

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