CalMac ves­sels tar­geted by lasers

The Oban Times - - News -

TWO CalMac fer­ries were tar­geted by ‘a pow­er­ful laser beam’ within 24 hours of each other as they were dock­ing last week.

The MV Ar­gyle and MV Bute were im­pacted by the green laser as they were berthing at We­myss Bay.

The first in­ci­dent took place at 8.15pm on Fri­day March 31, when a beam was tar­geted for a pro­longed pe­riod di­rectly into the bridge dur­ing dock­ing ma­noeu­vres. This forced the master to re­duce speed fur­ther than usu­ally re­quired.

A sim­i­lar in­ci­dent took place the fol­low­ing evening at al­most the same time, 8.10pm.

On both oc­ca­sions the crew re­mained pro­fes­sional and were able to berth the ves­sel safely and with­out any in­juries.

CalMac’s di­rec­tor of ser­vice de­liv­ery, Rob­bie Drum­mond, said: ‘I can­not em­pha­sise enough how dan­ger­ous such ut­terly ir­re­spon­si­ble be­hav­iour is.

‘As well as pos­ing an is­sue of im­me­di­ate harm to our crews, these ac­tions are il­le­gal and an of­fence un­der the Mer­chant Ship­ping Act. They also have the po­ten­tial to jeop­ar­dise the safety of pas­sen­gers on board and, ul­ti­mately, the ves­sels.

‘That may be blunt, but it is ab­so­lutely a fact and we con­demn the ac­tions of this reck­less per­son or per­sons in the strong­est terms.

‘I com­mend our highly ex­pe­ri­enced crews for deal­ing with both in­ci­dents with con­sum­mate pro­fes­sion­al­ism and ex­per­tise.’

A spokes­woman for Po­lice Scot­land said: ‘ We can con­firm that Po­lice Scot­land is in­ves­ti­gat­ing these in­ci­dents, which are ut­terly reck­less. Thank­fully, no- one was in­jured dur­ing these in­ci­dents.

‘Those who carry out this type of act should be aware of the dan­ger that they pose.’

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