Edinburgh Leith Docks incident: US Navy ship Petrel righted weeks after 35 injured in toppling incident
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A US Navy ship has been righted weeks after it toppled over in Leith Docks and caused a massive emergency response.
The 250 foot vessel is now floating again after two tugboats moved it into an upright position on Tuesday, May 2. According to BBC reports, the dry dock was flooded on Sunday to help right the ship. Two large cranes were also assembled.
The Petrel became dislodged from its mooring and tipped over at a 45-degree angle, injuring 35 people, on March 22. The incident triggered a major emergency operation, with five ambulances, an air ambulance, three trauma teams, a special operations team and three paramedic response units all called to the scene, along with fire and rescue crews.
One man who was working on the ship when it tipped described the incident as “terrifying”. Constantin Pogor, a Romanian national, said he had found himself "flying from one side of the bridge to the other" before being knocked unconscious after hitting a metal beam.
An investigation into why the Petrel toppled is still underway. While strong winds were initially blamed for the incident, one expert has claimed it is unlikely that weather conditions caused the over 3,000-tonne vessel to tip over. The ship has been docked in Edinburgh since September 2020, due to “operational challenges” brought about the Covid-19 pandemic. The Petrel was previously owned by late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who used it to search for historic shipwrecks. The US Navy purchased it last year for £10 million.