A PROBE into the tragic sinking of a tug in the Clyde off Greenock which claimed the lives of two men has been completed.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has today confirmed that it has finished its investigation relating to the tug Biter, which capsized while assisting the Hebridean Princess cruise ship off Custom House Quay on February 24 last year.

A full report on the incident, which resulted in the deaths of George Taft, 65, of Greenock and Ian Catterson, 73, of Millport, is now being drafted.

Greenock Telegraph:

The marine watchdog has also confirmed that its report on the Waverley’s crash into Brodick Pier at Arran in 2020 is in the final stages of preparation for its publication.

Following the sinking of Biter, a specialist crane ship was brought in to recover her from the riverbed, which allowed the accident investigators to inspect the tug.

The major recovery operation necessitated the implementation of a 200-metre exclusion zone and drone ban around the site.

Greenock Telegraph:

The process was observed by Police Scotland, the Maritime & Coastguard Agency and MAIB observed the recovery process, which was the responsibility of marine insurers, to ensure evidence was preserved.

In an update about the status of the probe into the tragedy, a MAIB spokesperson told the Telegraph: “The investigation is now complete, and the report is being drafted.”

They also issued an update on their long-awaited final report into the Waverley’s collision with Arran pier, which occurred during a day trip from Greenock in September 2020.

Several local people were among the 24 individuals who sustained injuries when the historic paddle steamer overran her intended berth and slammed into the concrete pier.

The incident left the ship’s bow badly damaged and in need of costly repairs.

It also sparked legal action, with the Tele reporting in 2021 that one passenger who suffered a broken arm had secured a five-figure compensation package.

Greenock Telegraph:

An MAIB spokesperson said: “Our update on Waverley steamer is that the report is now undergoing it final stages of internal review, which has been extended due to the prioritisation of other investigations. ​

“We are aiming to issue our draft report for stakeholder consultation before the spring.

“The final investigation report will then be published following a review of the consultation comments.”