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One in hospital after ferry runs aground off north coast of Scotland

An injured passenger has been taken to the Balfour Hospital in Kirkwall, Orkney (Jane Barlow/PA)
An injured passenger has been taken to the Balfour Hospital in Kirkwall, Orkney (Jane Barlow/PA)

One person has been taken to hospital after a ferry 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.

One aboard the vessel has been taken to hospital, the Scottish Ambulance Service said, and has been admitted to Balfour Hospital in Kirkwall.

A rescue ships attends the MV Alfred after it ran aground on the island of Swona (Marlene Thomson)

There were 82 passengers on board at the time of the grounding, the ferry operator said.

The ship was being escorted to St Margaret’s Hope.

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

A spokesman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said the vessel was refloated within 90 minutes of the grounding, 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.”

A Scottish Ambulance Service spokesman said: “We received a call at 15:26 and sent one ambulance and a patient transport vehicle to the scene. One patient was transported to Balfour Hospital, Kirkwall.”

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