SIX passengers injured when a Pentland Ferries ferry ran aground on an uninhabited island off the north coast of Scotland are seeking compensation.

MV Alfred, once described as the most environmentally friendly ferry in Scotland, had 84 passengers and 13 crew on board when on July 5, it partially ran aground on the Isle of Swona, the more northerly of two islands in the Pentland Firth between the Orkney Islands and Caithness on the Scottish mainland.

RNLI lifeboats were called to evacuate the Vietnam-built £14m catamaran – with one person being rushed to hospital with a fractured shoulder.

Dozens more are feared to have suffered mental trauma and physical injuries including fractures, sprains and soft tissue damage.

The Pentland Ferries vessel was freed from the rocks but not before some passengers were evacuated onto RNLI vessels.

The catamaran was initially taken out of service before another vessel was brought into service for the route.

After the incident a team of inspectors from the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) carried out an investigation into the cirumstances.

Solicitor Digby Brown has now said it is epresenting six passengers who are seeking compensation amidst the Marine Accident Investigation Board’s (MAIB) formal investigation into the incident.

Mark Gibson, partner and head of the foreign and travel department at Digby Brown, said: “Any mode of travelling has its risks but there are clear procedures designed to keep people safe whether there be adverse conditions, mechanical issues or human error.

Six passengers sue over Scots ferry crashNone

“For the passengers on board this must have been a shocking ordeal with the injuries and overall chaos impacting each person in a different way.

“The injuries we’re aware of so far relate to fractures, sprains and soft tissue damage but it’s possible there are injuries that are as yet unreported, including those who suffered psychiatric harm.

“Legal proceedings are at an early stage but we will continue to support and advise anyone affected by this significant collision.”

July’s Pentland Ferries grounding happened during the government’s maritime safety week event.

MV Alfred was carrying out a scheduled sailing between Gill’s Bay on the Scottish mainland and St Margaret’s Hope in Orkney when it hit the island at around 2pm.

An initial inspection revealed that the Alfred’s port bulbous bow had sustained impact damage when it made contact with the uninhabited island.

While the port bow was grounded, the remainder of the ship remained afloat. The ship was floated off unaided and made its way to St Margaret’s Hope under its own engine power.

Alfred went for repairs at a dry dock in Northern Ireland and returned to the route on August 5, after undergoing five weeks of repairs.

Some ferry users had said that Alfred, capable of carrying 430 passengers and 98 cars, was widely appreciated by Orcadians for its reliability in poor weather, and by the ferry company for its low running costs.

Dubbed the most environmentally-friendly ferry service of its kind in Scotland, it is said to burn one third of the fuel of an equivalent CalMac ferry with space for up to 430 passengers and 98 cars, or 54 cars and 12 articulated vehicles/coaches.

A shore-based wind turbine provides power when the vessel is docked overnight.

A Pentland Ferries spokesman said:  "Pentland Ferries continues to co-operate fully with the MAIB's ongoing investigation and, as such, it would not be appropriate to make further comment at this time."