Scillonian Grounding ‘Looked More Dramatic Than It Was’

scillonian runs aground 3


The grounding of the Scillonian III yesterday in St Mary’s harbour looked more dramatic than it was and there was no major damage caused.

That’s according to Harbourmaster, Dale Clark, who praised the professionalism of the boatmen and shore staff, including the crews of the Pegasus, the Hurricane and the Lyonesse Lady, as well as the quay hands on shore.

Recounting yesterday’s chain of events, Dale says the Scillonian made a normal approach but the strong northwesterly wind caught her stern, which was recovered by the Captain.

She pulled out and made a second attempt to berth but the same thing happened and unfortunately this time she couldn’t be caught. Dale says the boat ended up contacting some moorings before scraping the bottom in the low water.

St Mary's Harbourmaster, Dale Clark

St Mary’s Harbourmaster, Dale Clark

Two buoys were damage and there was some very minor damage to one vessel.

Dale said it looked dramatic but the recovery was very controlled.

He says it could have been a lot worse, as the Scillonian is a big boat relative to the other vessels in the harbour.

Divers went down yesterday afternoon to check the hull and propellers but they didn’t see any sign of damage.

The ship left as scheduled at 4.30pm.

Dale says there are always lessons to be learned after an event like this and his office will be working with the Steamship Company to review the incident.


6 Responses to Scillonian Grounding ‘Looked More Dramatic Than It Was’

  1. Pat Hicks May 28, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    I would just like to say that I think the steamship company does a pretty good job in looking after the islanders and visitors…

  2. Jeff Eastick May 28, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    Tony’s comments again highlight the fact that a small number of locals have an agenda against the Steamship Co. that is not mirrored by visitors. Kev’s comments illustrate the voice of reason that most visitors would agree with. Is there past history with the Steamship Co. with regards to local freighting issues ? Negative comments on these pages will do Scilly no favours in trying to attract new visitors. If you have a complaint with the Steamship Co. , go directly to them in a reasoned manner , not broadcast negative attitudes to all and sundry which will affect visitor confidence.

  3. A visitor May 28, 2013 at 8:30 am

    Well said Mark. As a very recent visitor (we went back on Thursday) I have only praise for the Scillonian staff. The incident only happened due to strong winds as far as I can see…we have been a bit late docking before due to bad weather…why should we expect a refund? Don’t let the negative comments on ALL of this site put potential visitors off…the majority of Scilly people don’t spend all the time moaning!

  4. Mark McCluskey May 27, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    As a passenger onboard, we were in no danger, all handled professionally and why any refund? We arrived safe, and only delayed, weather events happen, especially at sea. too much blame and
    compensation culture, get a grip.

  5. Tony May 27, 2013 at 10:02 am

    Not reallllly a case of nothing to see here though. 200 passengers with a bit of a bad news story, plus onlookers, plus this YouTube video…of course it’s going to have a negative impact.

    I can’t remember this happening before like this, seems like human error and should be investigated fully.

    Did the passengers get a full refund?

    We don’t owe the IOSSCo anything, don’t be scared to challenge them, their demise would yield government intervention and cheaper (and safer) travel.

    • Kev May 27, 2013 at 7:07 pm

      I think you’ll find this has to be investigated Tony, as a legal requirement. You seem to contradict yourself, saying you can’t remember this happening before, and then saying transport provided by others would be ‘safer’. An alternative viewpoint might be the rarity of such incidents is a testament to the competence of the Master and crew, and the service is very safe. I prefer to believe Dale, he is the Harbour Master and qualified to comment.