A MUCH-PUBLICISED exercise to take PS Maid of the Loch out of Loch Lomond using Balloch’s steam-powered slipway cradle on Thursday, January 10, came to an abrupt halt at 1.35pm when a cable snapped and the 555-ton railway paddle steamer ran back into the loch out of control.
Workers, who were fitting blocks under the hull to steady the ship to allow a cable to be changed, had to jump out of the way as the ship crushed the cradle timbers at the front of the rail-borne trolley. There were no reported injuries.
The crew on board, helped by small boats, managed to halt the ship’s stern-first travel, and it was eased back to its berth at Balloch Pier, where it will stay while an investigation takes place into the cause of the incident.
Loch Lomond Steam Ship Company chairman John Beveridge said: “We will fully investigate the incident to see what went wrong. My first concern was for the men on the slipway, but, thankfully, there were no injuries.
“The cradle can and will be repaired, and we will now look to a future date for taking Maid of the Loch out of the water for her sonic hull tests and repairs.”
Read more in Issue 251 of HR – on sale now!