Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act this week reveal a long list of safety problems found on the Island Princess since April 1.
These predate the revelation last month that Clydelink’s service had been suspended because crew were not qualified.
The first MCA inspection took place on March 27 – but then on April 13, nearly two weeks after the service started, further inspections found a total of 14 faults which had to be rectified before the Kilcreggan to Gourock ferry could sail again.
These included lifejackets without service history and a lack of training for the crew in how to launch a liferaft..
The boat, which came to the Clyde from Lymington in late March, took over the SPT-funded service between Gourock and Kilcreggan on April 1 amid controversy which saw over 400 people demonstrating on Kilcreggan’s pier.
Other problems found on April 13 include faulty firefighting equipment and liferafts wrongly stowed; there was no passenger safety announcement and one of the navigation lights didn’t even have a bulb.
Crew were said to have had no induction training and no knowledge of how to use firefighting equipment.
The Clydelink boat was inspected on three further occasions before on May 22 it was prevented from sailing until a suitably qualified skipper was on board.
The inspection reports can be found here: MCA FOI
Clydelink and SPT were unavailable for comment today; at a meeting with MSPs last month SPT officials said safety concerns were the MCA’s responsibility.
Meanwhile today (Friday) operators Clydelink said that some sailings in the early morning and at midday were cancelled due to high winds.