Glasgow & West Scotland

HSE probe after Maid of the Loch breaks free

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Media captionThe ship was being slowly winched up the slipway when something went wrong

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is to be notified after a paddle steamer due for restoration broke free as it was being winched out of the water.

Workers had to flee during the operation after the Maid of the Loch slipped its ties and slid back into the water.

The paddle steamer was later taken back to its normal berth at Balloch Pier and the operation called off for the day.

No one was injured.

Image caption The Maid of the Loch was taken back to its normal berth after the operation was abandoned

A spokeswoman for the Loch Lomond Steamship Company (LLSC) confirmed that the refit would continue and an inquiry into what went wrong had been commissioned.

She said: "The Board of the Loch Lomond Steamship Company met this morning and have agreed to commission an independent inquiry into the cause of the incident.

"Appropriate consultants are being contacted and the incident has been reported to the HSE."

The spokeswoman added that the phased refit of the ship would continue.

Image copyright Loch Lomond Steamship Company
Image caption The Maid of the Loch, with Ben Lomond in the background

The £5.5m restoration project aims to transform the steamer and eventually secure industrial museum status.

The restoration plans include reviving the main and aft deck saloons to their original 1950s style and creating an education suite, as well as restoring engines and machinery.

John Beveridge, chairman of the Loch Lomond Steamship Company, said the money would allow them to recreate the ship's original 1950s style.

He said: "To see her engines turning again after 38 years will be magical".

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