Survivors of tipped over Edinburgh ship suffering with 'life-changing' injuries one year on

US Navy vessel the RV Petrel toppled at Leith Docks on March 22 last year.
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Survivors are dealing with 'life-changing' and 'catastrophic' injuries a year to the day that a ship tipped over in Edinburgh.

US Navy vessel the RV Petrel toppled at Leith Docks on March 22 last year, injuring 35 people. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is now investigating the incident in collaboration with Police Scotland.

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Lawyers for those hurt said today that there was 'unrest' and 'concern' over the lack of answers. It is still unclear what caused the collapse.

The Petrel in Imperial Dock on March 22. Picture: Andrew O'BrienThe Petrel in Imperial Dock on March 22. Picture: Andrew O'Brien
The Petrel in Imperial Dock on March 22. Picture: Andrew O'Brien

A Digby Brown spokesman said: “It has now been one year since this incident occurred but the authorities have not yet confirmed what failings led to the dry dock collapse of RV Petrel.

“As with any incident, it’s the not knowing that often causes upset and the lack of answers here continues to cause unrest and concern among survivors.

"We currently support 13 people from four different nations and while I cannot divulge details, some have suffered truly catastrophic, life-changing injuries.

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“Our priority is making sure each person has access to enhanced treatment so the outcome of their physical recovery may be as positive as possible.”

An HSE spokesman said today: “A joint investigation into the incident between HSE and Police Scotland is ongoing."

A Police Scotland spokeswoman added: “The RV Petrel has now made its onward journey from Leith docks, Edinburgh. Officers continue to work with the Health and Safety Executive to establish the full circumstances of this incident.”

One injured worker, Constantin Pogor, last April spoke about the horrifying moment the ship toppled.

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He said: “I heard a loud noise, felt movement and I just had this reflex reaction to try and hold onto something but I didn’t get to grab onto anything. I flew from one side of the bridge to the other and landed on my right side and hit my ribs on a metal beam.

"I must have passed out because I remember just sort of coming to – that’s when I realised my elbow was dislodged. A colleague then tried to move me – it was realty painful and that’s when I realised that although I could move my legs, something was wrong in my hip.

"I still don’t even know what actually happened that day to cause the ship to fall. I know Dales and HSE are involved in some kind of investigation and I’ve now sought my own lawyers to investigate independently on my behalf too and I think there’s a lot of other people onboard who’ve done the same.

"But I want to shed light on what happened to me just so people back home know I’m relatively okay. It was scary at the time – especially when you’re not able to speak the same language. But I’m being looked after now, have a translator and I’m focused on my recovery.”

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The Petrel, a 76m (250ft) research vessel, was previously bought by the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and sold by his estate in 2022. It was moored at Leith on September 3, 2020 due to 'operational challenges' from the pandemic and has now been moved to the US.

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