Passengers evacuated from grounded ferry in Pentland Firth

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ferry under escort
Image caption,
MV Alfred was refloated and escorted to St Margaret's Hope in Orkney

Passengers have been evacuated from a ferry after it grounded on an island in the Pentland Firth.

MV Alfred grounded on Swona at about 14:00 on Tuesday during a crossing from Gills Bay to St Margaret's Hope in Orkney. There were 97 people on board.

Thurso and Longhope lifeboats were sent to provide safety cover and begin evacuating passengers.

Operator Pentland Ferries said they were transferred to the lifeboats before the ship was refloated.

A Maritime and Coastguard Agency spokesperson said: "The vessel was refloated within an hour and a half before continuing, under its own power, to St Margaret's Hope.

"It has been escorted by the two lifeboats as well as two tugs from Orkney.

"Coastguard Rescue Teams from Kirkwall and St Margaret's Hope were also sent to meet the vessel at port."

Image caption,
MV Alfred grounded on the Isle of Swona at about 14:00 on Tuesday

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