Whoops! Maid of Loch falls back in water in winching fail
The paddle steamer was due to undergo a historic slipping after years of fundraising.
A Loch Lomond paddle steamer due to undergo a historic slipping has ended up back in the water after breaking free from its restraints.
The Maid of the Loch was due to be hauled out of the water by its original winch house at the Balloch Steam Slipway on Thursday to allow refurbishment work to be carried out.
The four-hour process began at 10am, but just after 1.30pm a problem arose and the cradle supporting the 191ft vessel snapped and it slipped back into the loch.
Some of the volunteers on the slipway had to jump out of the way of the ship as it slid back down into the water.
With only a few hours of daylight left, a decision was made to return the Maid to its usual berth while crew members examine what went wrong.
Bystanders suggested the problem was with the cradle at the front and they questioned whether the ship had been put up correctly.
A spokeswoman for the Maid said: "An incident occurred, believed to be the carriage.
"The ship is being taken back to the pier at the moment while we assess the situation.
"There are only a couple of hours left of daylight so it won't be going back up today."
The restoration is set to cost £5.5m.
The Scottish government has given the restoration project £950,000 and a further £50,000 came from the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society.
Once £1.7m is raised, the Heritage Lottery Fund will release £3.8m of further funding.
The Loch Lomond Steamship Company (LLSC) said the cash would go towards repairing the paddle steamer's hull and engines.
The company also plans to revive the deck saloons to their original 1950s style and create an education suite.