Passenger Ship Grounds and Takes on water

Thursday, August 25, 2005
Swansea Coastguard are currently coordinating the evacuation of 15 crew from the passenger vessel Balmoral which has hit an underwater object and is taking water. The vessel is currently alongside by the Superferry in Swansea Harbour. It is reported that there is two foot of water in the engine room. No injuries have been reported. Mumbles Coastguard Rescue Team has been sent straight to the area. All the crew are on the upper decks and are wearing lifejackets. The Mumbles inshore lifeboat has also been requested to launch to the vessel and the fire service are requesting all non essential personnel be evacuated. The Welsh Ambulance Service has been contacted and the local fire service rigid inflatable vessel is also on scene and on the shoreline and has pumps available to assist. The Agency’s Counter Pollution team has been put on stand by in case their assistance is required. The `Balmoral’ was built in Southampton in 1949 and operated under the Southampton Red Funnel Fleet for 20 years. She then moved round to the Bristol Channel where she became the last member of P&A Campbell's famous White Funnel Fleet. When they ceased operation in 1980, Balmoral moved to Dundee to become a floating restaurant. She returned to service in 1986 and operates her main summer season in the Bristol Channel, offering day excursions to popular Coastal Resorts, as well as making visits to other ports & piers throughout the UK. The vessel can accommodate up to 750 passengers and its registered owner is the Waverley Steam Navigation Company ltd.

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