Scillonian III Runs Aground In St Mary’s Harbour

scillonian runs aground 3

The Scillonian III will sail back to Penzance this afternoon at the scheduled time and is still expected to make the double sailing to and from the islands tomorrow.

Divers have inspected the vessel and given her a clean bill of health following her grounding this lunchtime.

203 passengers were left stranded on-board the ferry for over an hour when she ran aground in St Mary’s harbour. The boat was attempting a second go at berthing alongside the quay when it was hit by a strong northwesterly gust.

She came into contact with other vessels including the Kingfisher, although damage is superficial. But that boats mooring and the fishing boat Vicky Anna’s mooring have been lost, possibly after contact with the Scillonian’s propeller.

scillonian runs aground 2

The Harbourmaster’s boat Pegasus, the Lyonesse Lady and the Bryher jet boat, Hurricane acted as tugs and repositioned her alongside the quay.

St Marys Harbourmaster Dale Clark has paid tribute to the professionalism of boatmen and locals who worked together to avert damage or injury and who dealt with the problem in a calm way. Dale asked St Mary’s police to breathalyse the master, which is standard procedure. The reading was zero.

Dale says the Captain was intending to retreat to The Roads and wait for the tide to rise before a third attempt to dock, but the gust took hold before he could leave the harbour area.

It was just a combination of tides and wind that caused the problem, Dale says.

Passengers waited patiently onboard and many of them only realised something was wrong when the boat stopped moving for a long period.

The Steamship Company has issued a statement saying at no time was there any danger to passengers. They have apologised for the delay in berthing.