Hjaltland ferry accidents and incidents

Hjaltland ferry cruise ship


Length (LOA)
125 m / 410 ft

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CruiseMapper's Hjaltland ferry cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 600-passenger vessel owned by NORTHLINK FERRIES (Ferries). Our Hjaltland ferry accidents page contains reports made by using official data from renown online news media sources, US Coast Guard and Wikipedia.

Here are also reported latest updates on cruise law news related to ashore and shipboard crimes still investigated by the police. Among those could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.

  • deaths - overboard (2013)
  • injuries/crimes - 2012 (overboard/rescued)
  • Norovirus (passengers/crew) - 2010 (14 / 3)
  • medevacs - 2022
  • boat rescue - 2013 (Super Puma helicopter crash near Sumburgh, Mainland Shetland)

11 March 2022Coast Guard Medevacs

On March 11, 2022, at ~9:30 PM London time (~17:30 UTC), Shetland Coastguard received a request from the cruiseferry to medevac a passenger.

However, high winds prevented the rescue helicopter (dispatched from HMCG Lerwick Sector Base) to winch/airlift the patient and the aircraft returned to base.

The patient was ambulanced to a hospital after the ship docked in Aberdeen.

09 September 2013Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On September 9, 2013, at ~6:20 am, a 22-year-old male passenger was reported missing and presumed overboard while the cruiseferry was en-route from Lerwick (Shetland Mainland) to Aberdeen. The young man was last seen on the ship at ~4 am. The ferry contacted Aberdeen Coastguard and started a search and rescue operation retracing its route.

In the operation also participated three lifeboats (from Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Aberdeen), one helicopter  (Westland WS-61 Sea King / modified Sikorsky S-61, from RAF Lossiemouth) and two commercial ships. The extensive search (7 am - 8:30 pm, in the area between Rattray Head and Aberdeen) failed to find the body.

23 August 2013Boat Rescue

On August 23, 2013, the cruise ship was diverted from its regular Aberdeen-Kirkwall-Lerwick route to participate in the HMCG's search and rescue operation following the crash of a Eurocopter AS332 helicopter (aka  Super Puma) approx 2 mi (4 km) off Mainland Shetland Island (near Sumburgh).

To the crash site were dispatched RNLI lifeboats (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) from Lerwick and Aith  (West Shetland Mainland) plus one HMCG (UK coastguard) helicopter from Sumburgh. The operation was also assisted by 3 helicopters (2 from Bond Offshore, 1 from RAF Lossiemouth), the cruiseferry Hjaltland and 1 Ro-Ro cargo ship (the fleetmate Helliar). HMCG rescue teams were involved in the ambulancing the casualties and the logging of the wreckage (at Fitful Head). All injured were transported to Lerwick's Gilbert Bain Hospital.

The aircraft (carrying a total of 18 people - 16 passengers plus 2 crew) was operated by CHC Helicopter (company) and flying from Borgsten Dolphin (1975-built oil platform, IMO 8750546) towards Sumburgh Airport. At ~6:20 pm, the helicopter lost contact with the airport's traffic control. A mayday call was issued and the pilots attempted to do controlled ditching into the sea. When the helicopter fell into the water and evacuation was started, it turned upside down.

The killed in the crash included 3 men (46-yo Duncan Munro, 57-yo George Allison, 59-yo Gary McCrossan) and 1 woman (45-yo Sarah Darnley). The woman was rescued alive on the way to the hospital she died from her injuries. Two bodies were found floating free around the downed helicopter on Aug 24. The 3rd body was recovered from the wreckage on Aug 25. After the bodies of the three victims (oil workers) were found, the ship was used to transport them to Aberdeen. 

05 August 2012Crew / Passenger Injuries and Overboards

(overboard) On August 5, 2012, at ~8:20 pm, a male passenger was reported overboard while the ship was en-route from Aberdeen to Kirkwall (Orkney Island) and approx 30 mi (50 km) north of Fraserburgh (mainland Scotland). Aberdeen Coastguard was informed and a rescue helicopter from RAF Lossiemouth was dispatched. The cruiseferry launched a rescue boat and the man was recovered alive from the water, then airlifted and flown to hospital.

June 2010Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

In early-June 2010, the liner was withdrawn from service for 3 days (June 6-9) and remained berthed at Aberdeen due to a Norovirus outbreak. The first illness reports were made on June 4, when a bus with 14 Hereford tourists boarded the ship in Lerwick. The bus passengers (mainly elderly people) started to report Norovirus symptoms (vomiting and diarrhea) during the voyage.

A total of 17 affected were reported (14 passengers plus 3 crew) after the docking in Aberdeen (June 6th), where the vessel was subjected to an extensive 10-hour clean up prior to the scheduled evening departure. However, to avoid risks, the shipowner decided to cancel the crossing and clean the ferry again. Its regular service was restarted on June 9th.

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