Harris ferry cancelled but Lewis ferry back running

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THE Leverburgh-Berneray ferry is cancelled today (Wednesday, July 4th).

Due to extreme low tides, the 13.30 (1.30pm) sailing from Berneray and the 14.45 (2.45pm) sailing from Leverburgh have been cancelled.

Ferry operators Caledonian MacBryanes apologise for any inconvenience caused.

The Stornoway to Ullapool vessel – the Isle of Lewis – is running again today, although slightly late.

Speaking of the cancellation of the service yesterday (Tuesday, July 3rd), a CalMac spokesman said: “MV Isle of Lewis departed Stornoway at 06.46 (46 minutes late) following repairs to the starboard engine.

“We will endeavour to catch up to the published timetable by cutting back the turnaround times.

“The breakdown was due to a cracked piston crown which is of concern as this was the cause of similar breakdown a few weeks ago, albeit in a different engine,” he continued.

“A full investigation is being carried out and we are working with the engine’s manufacturers to identify the cause. Possibilities include a manufacturing or design flaw.”

With regards to rumours of fuel problems causing the breakdown, the spokesman said: “We can say categorically that we do not believe it is a fuel problem as the damage is inconsistent with a fuel or injection problem.

“We are aware of local speculation about the use of intermediate oil being a contributory factor, but as the MV Isle of Lewis has also been running on a lighter fuel (Ulmer) for the last two months we can more than likely eliminate this as a possibility.”

He added: “We consider one breakdown to be one too many, and we do everything we can to minimise the likelihood of them happening, but they are unfortunately unavoidable and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.”