CalMac Ferries in double trouble as routes are cancelled

Island ferry operator CalMac ran into trouble last week with two boats unable to operate.

Thursday, 28th January 2021, 10:18 am
Problems afloat for CalMac this week

The MV Isle of Arran had a problem with one of her main engines on Monday and was unable to undertake the return service to Lochboisdale that evening.

The vessel was moved from Oban to Craignure (Mull) on one engine to allow investigations to continue. At that point there was no alternative service vessel options available meaning ferry staff had to arrange accommodation and other travel options for those who had been booked to travel.

A spokesman said: “As soon as there are any updates or we can confirm when the vessel can return to service and to Lochboisdale we will advise.”

On Tuesday, the MV Isle of Arran was taken out of service, and is currently undertaking investigatory ship movements with the engineering support team aboard.

Additionally, a key member of the crew on MV Loch Alainn has been contacted by NHS Test and Protect and told to immediately isolate due to Covid contact. The Sound of Barra service was immediately cancelled from Ardmhor until CalMac can locate a replacement vessel for this route.

Robert Morrison, Operations Director for CalMac, said: “A key member of the crew is now having to self-isolate after being identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for covid.

"The service will resume once the vessel has been deep cleaned as a precaution, and once a relief crew has been successfully transferred.

"Thank you for your patience and understanding as we do our best to protect passengers and staff.”