Thirty-five people have been injured after a ship tipped over at an Edinburgh dockyard yesterday.

NHS Lothian said 23 people had been treated in hospital and 12 people at the scene of the incident at Imperial Dock, Leith, which is run by Aberdeen company Dales Marine Services.

A major incident was declared after the research vessel Petrel became dislodged from its holding on a dry dock.

Dales Marine said in a statement the incident was understood to have happened around 8am and emergency services were called shortly thereafter.

The firm said it was liaising with the emergency services and relevant authorities.

“At this time, we cannot comment any further.”

Five dry docks

Dales Marine is a leading UK ship repair and maintenance company, operating five dry docks in Scotland.

Pictures posted on social media showed the 3,000-tonne vessel, which is owned by the US Navy, leaning at a 45-degree angle.

The US Consulate in Edinburgh said it was monitoring the situation and offering support to US citizens who were involved.

"We thank the emergency services for their prompt response.

"Our thoughts are with all those affected by this incident," it added.

NHS Lothian said 15 patients were taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary by ambulance with another two attending themselves, four to Western General Hospital and two to Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy.


Another 12 people were treated and discharged at the scene.

A spokesperson for NHS Lothian said eight were still in the Royal Infirmary, some with "serious injuries", and outpatient appointments, endoscopies and planned surgeries had been cancelled to "free-up our surgical staff".

Police Scotland urged the public to avoid the area to allow access for emergency services.

Supt Mark Rennie told the BBC that all casualties had been accounted for by 1:20pm.

He added: "There is no risk to the wider public and inquiries are ongoing to establish the full circumstances of what has happened.”

The Health and Safety Executive said it was aware of the incident and was making inquiries.

Loud noise

James Welsh, a scaffold foreman, was working near the Petrel as it fell. He heard a loud sound, but "not as noisy as you would think".

He said one worker had put down his bag to "nip to the toilet", and when he came back the ship was over and he didn't know where his workmates were.

"It's very scary - it just makes you evaluate everything," he said. "No one goes to work to be involved in any kind of accident."

A spokesperson from Forth Ports said the incident happened at the facility of its tenant, Dales Marine Services.

A US Navy spokeswoman said: "We continue to communicate with our contacts at the scene in order to understand what occurred, the actions being taken, and the long-term impacts.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with those injured and their families, with hopes for a quick and full recovery."

Microsoft co-founder

The 250ft ship has been owned by the United States Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center since October 2022, and operated by Oceaneering International. The vessel was previously owned by the estate of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.

It was placed into long-term moorage in 2020 as a result of "operation challenges" during the Covid pandemic, and has not been used since.

Before this, it had been used for deep water searches for shipwrecks and war graves at sea.

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