MV Pentalina Incident: Dozens of passengers evacuated as Pentland Ferries MV Pentalina runs aground on Orkney

All passengers are said to be safe following the incident on the Pentland Ferries service on Saturday evening

A ferry with 60 people on board has run aground in Orkney with emergency services on the scene.

Pentland Ferries said the MV Pentalia became grounded at the village of St Margaret’s Hope.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Smoke was detected in the engine room before the incident. An RNLI lifeboat is understood to have been sent to the scene at around 8.30pm.

MV Pentalina had been out of passenger service apart from some brief private contracts since 2019.MV Pentalina had been out of passenger service apart from some brief private contracts since 2019.
MV Pentalina had been out of passenger service apart from some brief private contracts since 2019.

The RMT union described it as a “major incident” and said the vessel was taking on water.

Sixty passengers, including three children and an infant, were evacuated from the ferry, as well as some of the crew.

It is understood eight crew members have remained on the vessel to help manage the situation.

The coastguard said: “St Margaret’s Hope, Stromness and Kirkwall Coastguard rescue teams, alongside Stromness and Longhope RNLI lifeboats, responded to a passenger vessel reporting a fire and having subsequently grounded, with minor water ingress, near St Margaret’s Hope at approximately 7.30pm.

“A Mayday broadcast was issued. The fire was extinguished and passengers were evacuated by lifeboat to St Margaret’s Hope, where they were met by the Scottish Ambulance Service and Police Scotland.

“All passengers have been reported safe and well.”

What do we know about the Pentalina?

The Pentalina returned to service earlier this week to allow another ferry, MV Alfred, to service CalMac routes on the west coast.

A statement from Pentland Ferries said: “The MV Pentalina is grounded in St Margaret’s Hope. The vessel has 56 adults, three children and an infant on board. All are safe.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“The emergency services are in attendance. Smoke was detected in the engine room, before the vessel grounded.

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

The ferry company later said: “All passengers that were onboard MV Pentalina tonight are safe and are either at home or at their accommodation.

“Our customer services team are contacting all customers that are due to travel. Further updates will follow.”

An RMT spokesman said: “We are aware of a major incident onboard the MV Pentalina which has run aground, taking on water with a fire in the engine room.

“RNLI lifeboats have been dispatched and all of the ferry’s passengers and crew are reported to be safe.

“A thorough investigation will be needed to establish how this major incident aboard the Pentland Ferries vessel occurred.”

This is not the first time a Pentland Ferries vessel has run aground: more than 80 passengers had to be rescued from the Alfred last year.

Political reaction

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Transport Minister Kevin Stewart tweeted that he was “sorry” to hear of the incident, but that “all on board are safe and well and that emergency services are in attendance”.

MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston tweeted about the Pentalia incident, saying: “This is the boat which has been brought back into service to allow CalMac to charter the MV Alfred on the west coast routes.

“Hoping crew and passengers are OK, and everyone is able to get off safely.”

The MV Pentalina has only just returned to service releasing MV Alfred from the Pentland Firth to be leased to CalMac.

RNLI Stromness Lifeboat tweeted: “Many thanks to the volunteer crews of Stromness and Longhope lifeboats for prompt action in the safe evacuation of a passenger vessel in Scapa Flow this evening. All passengers and their baggage, plus some crew, were taken the short distance to shore and some crew remained on the boat.”

Related topics:



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.