More than 70 people were evacuated after a ferry began to sink in Merseyside.Firefighters carried out the huge evacuation after the ship began filling up with water. Ambulance, two fire engines and coastguard crews rushed to The Royal Iris ferry – carrying 69 passengers and five crew members – when it ran aground at around 1.30pm.
It was in the middle of a day cruise from Seacombe, Wirral, along the Manchester Ship canal to Salford Quays. All passengers were helped on to a dredger – which was also used to pump water out of the ferry as it began to capsize.
Passenger Jonathan Whittaker posted the dramatic turn of events on Twitter, describing the evacuation to “walking the plank”.
Merseytravel – who runs the ferries – said: “We can confirm that the Royal Iris ferry Manchester Ship Canal cruise was abandoned today following reports of the ferry taking on water. The relevant emergency services were called immediately … We apologise to our passengers and would like to thank them for their cooperation this afternoon.”