Waverley paddle steamer crash victim wins five-figure payout

The first victim of the Waverley paddle steamer crash in Arran to win damages has received a five-figure payout, lawyers announced today.

The passenger, understood to be male, suffered a broken arm when the historic vessel hit Brodick pier last September.

He was among 24 of the 239 passengers and crew to be injured in the incident, some of whom were airlifted to hospital.

Law firm Digby Brown said Waverley’s owners had accepted liability last month and agreed to pay an out-of-court settlement.

Damage to Waverley's bow visible after the incident in Brodick. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

It is pursuing claims for an undisclosed number of others injured.

Another firm, Thompsons Solicitors, which pursued claims for at least two passengers, told The Scotsman it had also settled out of court, but did not provide details.

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Mark Gibson, a partner at Digby Brown, said: “I can confirm that last month we settled a claim for a client in relation to an injury sustained in the Waverley crash at Brodick.

The steamer was towed back to Glasgow after the incident. Picture: John Devlin

“We are glad to have been able to assist in the swift conclusion of this civil action, but we act for several other victims affected by this same incident so it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

The crash happened a month after the 74-year-old Glasgow-based ship returned to service after a two-year absence.

It was laid up to be fitted with a new boiler following a major fundraising appeal, and because of Covid lockdown restrictions.

The incident is at least the fourth time the world’s last ocean-going steamer is reported to have collided with harbours in the Clyde since 2009.

Waverley’s operators hope to resume sailings on the Clyde from June.

Paul Semple, general manager of Waverley Excursions, said: “All injury claims are being handled by our insurers.

"I am unable to make further comment.

“Maintenance work is continuing on Waverley in preparation for her moving to dry dock later this month.

"In the past week, the boilers have been fired up and the ship is now ‘in steam’ once again.

"Given the ongoing restrictions due to Covid, we have yet to publish a sailing programme for 2021, but are aiming to operate Waverley on the Clyde for the main summer season.”

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