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Dunoon Observer and Argyllshire Standard Dunoon Observer and Argyllshire Standard
Home News The News Maid of the Loch suffers a setback

Maid of the Loch suffers a setback

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Loch Lomond paddle steamer Maid of the Loch is once again berthed at Balloch Pier after an attempt to move her up the slipway failed today.


After a rocky year in 2018, the Maid had finally secured enough funding for her to be shifted from her Loch Lomond berth to the slipway nearby.


The move had been meticulously planned, as despite only being moved a short distance, the Maid was not doing it under her own steam but by a series of winches to shuffle her into position above a cradle, and then by the original slipway winch on the shore.


Local and national press and television were in attendance, alongside hundreds of members of the public, to watch the momentous occasion.


While still tethered to the pier in case anything should go wrong, the Maid cast off her stern ropes at around 11.50 this morning, followed by her bow lines, and began the traverse to her starboard side to line up with the slipway.


The sideways part of the journey took a little under an hour to complete.


The next step was to line her up above a submerged slipway cradle, a job which required inch-perfect precision. That stage completed, the on-shore winch took up the slack and began the slow lifting of the 555-tonne vessel up the slip.


So far, so good.


However, around 2.30pm, with the Maid's bow just 30 feet from her goal, a problem occurred which sent her running back down the slipway and into the Loch.


So far the indications are that the cradle suffered a failure which lead to the boat returning to the water, but a spokesperson for the Loch Lomond Steamship Company said that an investigation will be carried out to find out the actual cause of the accident.


Nobody was hurt in the accident, and the Maid did not suffer any damage either.


*in tomorrow's Standard, we report that the move of the Maid was a success. At the time of going to press, the operation was going as planned. We apologise for this mistake.





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