SHIPSHAPE Response To Cruise Calamity At Greenock Hits The Right Note

INVERCLYDE'S warm welcome for hundreds of stranded cruise passengers has been highly praised by one of the guest speakers on the ship -- a local councillor even sang for the marooned travellers.

Luxury vessel Nautica slipped her moorings at Greenock Ocean Terminal during strong winds on Wednesday and had to anchor off the town until late into the evening, leaving nearly 500 passengers and crew unable to get back on board. Inverclyde Council opened Greenock Town Hall as a shelter for them.

Author and entertainer Dr Roger Cartwright said: "Working as a guest speaker on the Oceania Cruise’s MS Nautica I was one of those stranded in Greenock for most of Wednesday 19 September.

"There were well over 400 guests and crew in the Town Hall at Greenock. "I cannot speak too highly of the work of the staff of Inverclyde Council from the chief executive, his officers, staff and volunteers. "It was a pleasure for me to assist Councillor Jim McEleny in keeping spirits up –- I don’t know what he is like as a politician but he is a good singer even if we come from different political persuasions. "The council even found a piper to entertain us.

Dr Cartwright, who lives in Crieff, added: "Our guests were kept safe, dry, warm, and refreshed and I believe they -- the majority from the USA and Canada -- saw Scotland and the UK at our best, working together to help people in difficult circumstances.

"As I write this we are all safely back on board reunited with our vessel and our crew who have also worked so hard."

Staff from Inverclyde Leisure and Inverclyde Health and Social Care Partnership assisted in the effort.

All passengers were safely back on board Nautica by 10.30pm and the vessel sailed at 11pm.

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