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Passengers rescued after ferry runs aground off north coast of Scotland

The MV Alfred ran aground off the uninhabited island of Swona (Louise Berston/PA)
The MV Alfred ran aground off the uninhabited island of Swona (Louise Berston/PA)

More than 80 passengers have been rescued from a ferry which ran aground off the north coast of Scotland on Tuesday.

The MV Alfred, operated by Pentland Ferries, was grounded on the island of Swona at about 2pm during its crossing between Gills Bay on the mainland and St Margaret’s Hope on South Ronaldsay.

Two lifeboats from Thurso and Longhope were sent to the uninhabited island to help evacuate the 97 people onboard, the coastguard said.

The ferry operator said there were 82 passengers onboard.

Rescue ships attend the MV Alfred after it ran aground (Marlene Thomson/PA)

A spokesman for the Pentland Ferries said the ship is being escorted to St Margaret’s Hope.

“Passengers had already been transferred to the lifeboats before the ship was refloated,” the spokesman said.

“They are also being transferred to St Margaret’s Hope. An ambulance is on standby to deal with potential injuries.

“The safety of passengers is, of course, our first priority.”

A spokesman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said the vessel was refloated within 90 minutes, and continued under its own power to port.

“It has been escorted by the two lifeboats as well as two tugs from Orkney,” the spokesman said.

“Coastguard Rescue Teams from Kirkwall and St Margaret’s Hope were also sent to meet the vessel at port.”

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