Fire in the engine room of MV Hebrides

Fire and ambulance crews awaited the vessel's return to Uig.Fire and ambulance crews awaited the vessel's return to Uig.
Fire and ambulance crews awaited the vessel's return to Uig.
The crisis in CalMac vessel resilience took a deeply worrying new turn this afternoon when the MV Hebrides was forced to turn back to Uig Pier on Skye after fire broke out in her engine room.

The Hebrides was due to go for annual maintenance more than a month ago but has been kept in service because of other breakdowns and maintenance extensions in other ageing CalMac vessels.

Last weekend, she was detained in port at Lochmaddy after the port engine failed but was biefly able to resume service on Sunday before today’s incident which resulted in three fire engines and an ambulance being called to Uig pier, though there are not believed to be any casualties.

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It is not thought that the fire caused the vessel to break down, though the exact circumstances have not been explained.

CalMac only confirmed that a fire had broken out in the engine room, causing the ferry to return to port where it unloaded passengers and vehicles.

The operators are currently awaiting advice from fire officers on whether she can return to service.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said: "We were alerted at 2:40pm on Tuesday, March 28 to reports of a fire aboard a ship on the Isle of Skye. Operations Control mobilised three fire appliances to Uig Ferry Terminal, where firefighters currently remain on scene. There are no reported casualties."

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A CalMac spokesperson said: “MV Hebrides is currently berthed in Uig after a fire broke out in the engine room during passage this afternoon. No-one was reported as injured and crew were able to extinguish the fire. All passengers have been disembarked, and the fire service are in attendance to assess the situation.”