'Major incident' on board N.I. ferry - What we know so far

The emergency services are currently at the scene of what they describe as a "major incident" involving a passenger ferry travelling from Northern Ireland to Scotland.

Tuesday, 18th December 2018, 12:16 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 10:03 am
One of the lorries which toppled over onto another vehicle on board the P&O ferry service between Larne and Cairnryan.

This is what we know so far.

When and what actually happened?

A number of lorries toppled over on board the P&O ferry during severe weather conditions.

One of the lorries which toppled over onto another vehicle on board the P&O ferry service between Larne and Cairnryan.

The ferry was travelling from Larne in Northern Ireland to Cairnryan in Scotland.

The emergency services were first contacted at approximately 7:30am.

Are there any casualties?

There are no reports of any injuries but some passengers became trapped inside their vehicles.

Inside the ferry where passengers would have been.

Has P&O Ferries said anything about what happened?

Yes, a spokesperson for the company said: "In extreme weather conditions, a number of vehicles have moved position on the decks causing damage on board.

"All passengers and crew are safely accounted for, there are no reports of injuries and the emergency services are in attendance."

How many passengers and crew were on board?

A lorry topples over almost onto its side on board the ferry.

All 52 passengers and 56 crew members have been accounted for according to Police Scotland.

How long is the 'major incident' likely to go on for?

The port of Cairnryan will be closed for some time, according to authorities.

P&O confirmed its intention to proceed with all scheduled sailings between Larne and Cairnryan but it has told travellers to expect delays.

What are the emergency services saying?

A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: "The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service was requested at 7.32am on Tuesday December 18 to assist our emergency service partners with an ongoing incident involving vehicles upon a ferry berthed at Cairnryan Ferry Terminal, Wigtownshire.

"Operations control mobilised four fire engines to the scene and firefighters presently remain in attendance."

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: "During a choppy sailing, there has been a movement of vehicles on the car deck and this has caused around six vehicles to tip over onto their side.

"Due to the movement on the deck, there are a number of passengers confined to vehicles.

"We are able to confirm all 52 passengers and 56 crew on board are safe and well and no-one has any injuries."

A Scottish Ambulance Service spokesman said: "No injuries were reported and no-one was required to be taken to hospital.

"Our specialist operations response team were also dispatched to support our emergency service partners."