THE Steam Packet Company has apologised to the family of a young girl who was injured when she tripped while boarding the Manannan fastcraft.
A full review is being carried out into the incident which took place while passengers boarded the fastcraft at Dublin on Wednesday last week.
One passenger who witnessed the accident but did not wish to be named, said: ‘It was horrific.
‘The girl was extremely upset. I was so shocked by the accident.’
And he alleged there were no safety signs in place or crew members on hand to assist the girl.
In a statement, however, the Steam Packet said the passengers had not boarded the Manannan via the correct designated area which is to the side of the stern ramp. The girl had tripped over the hinges on the main part of the ramp but the gap there was not wide enough for someone to fall through.
It is understood that the child was not badly hurt and no paramedics were required to attend.
A Steam Packet spokesman said: ‘Foot passenger access to Manannan at the port of Dublin is via the stern ramp. Across the main body of the ramp there is a space to accommodate the hinges.
‘The space is approximately four inches wide and therefore of insufficient width to permit a person to fall through.
‘Foot passengers access the vessel via a dedicated, cordoned-off area to the starboard side of the ramp on which this hinge space is covered. Foot passenger boarding does not take place at the same time as vehicle boarding.
‘The passengers concerned required access to the lift on the port side of the vessel. A crew member directed these passengers towards the lift but appears not to have made it clear that the passengers should have first boarded the vessel at the designated foot passenger access point.
‘The young child then tripped over a stern ramp hinge.’
The spokesman added: ‘The company has been in contact with the passengers concerned to whom it has apologised and has undertaken a full review of the incident.
‘Additional measures to ensure that all foot passengers board the vessel via the designated area have been implemented.’