By Victoria Pease of STV
Police were called to the ferry terminal in Brodick at 5.15pm after the vessel, which is the world’s last seagoing paddle steamer, hit the pier.
One passenger who was on the steamer said everyone on board was told to disembark and move away to allow ambulances to get past.
He told STV News: “We were on the way back into the ferry terminal at Brodick and they didn’t seem to slow down at the last minute as they normally do and all of a sudden there was a bang and most people that were standing up got knocked over as we came to a rapid stop.”
It is believed that 213 passengers and 26 crew were on board at the time of the collision. A total of 17 have reported injuries, and a number have been taken to hospital with head and spinal injuries.
Helicopters and ambulances went to the scene of the crash at Brodick Pier.
James Mitchell, who was a passenger on the boat alongside his father, said they saw a number of casualties following the incident.
“Fortunately we were both sitting. My father’s 99, he’s got his back to the bow of the boat and we’re almost right at the bow, and there’s a big impact and the boat stopped very suddenly.
“We can see there are casualties on board with bandages and there were people obviously being treated by paramedics as we were coming off the boat. There’s obviously something serious going on.”
The Waverley returned to the water last month for the first time in almost two years following major repairs.
An urgent appeal for funding was launched last year after it was announced that the Waverley, built in 1946, would not sail in 2019.
In just seven months £2.3m was raised by more than 8000 members of the public and £1 million from the Scottish Government.
- Secret Scotland. As they appealed for money to repair the Waverley immediately after this serious accident, supporters of the old paddler sent out a stern warning to people not to speak to the media or post anything on social media about the incident. If they did sanctions would be taken against them. It seems they are prepared to use the press to publicise the Waverley in regard to fund-raising activities but not to discuss matters when something goes wrong as it did last night. Editor