NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Probe into 'longest vessel' incident in Aberdeen

Beltnes Image copyright Aberdeen Harbour Board
Image caption The Beltnes first arrived in May

An investigation is being carried out into whether the longest vessel to ever visit Aberdeen was damaged during work on the new harbour.

The £350m expansion at Nigg will allow cruise ships to berth alongside the dock, eliminating the need to ferry passengers ashore by small boat.

The 175.6m (576ft) Beltnes arrived at the end of May to import stone.

Aberdeen Harbour Board said it could not go into fuller incident detail due it being an ongoing investigation.

'No risk'

It said in a statement: "There are regular vessel movements into the South Harbour construction site, including routine visits from the Beltnes, the large bulk carrier used to import stone for the development.

"An investigation was carried out on the vessel following concerns that the Beltnes had sustained superficial damage during one of its visits.

"The Maritime and Coastguard Agency were informed, and approved the vessel as clear for sailing. At no time was there any risk to the vessel or the environment.

"The vessel departed from South Harbour on schedule, and will return to site as part of the programmed works. In addition, there are no restrictions to ongoing vessel arrivals and departures at the construction site."

The harbour board has described the project - due for completion in 2020 - as a "major new chapter" in the port's history.

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