Freight ferry undergoes repairs

Stornoway’s freight ferry MV Clipper Ranger has now sailed to Liverpool where she will undergo repairs following Tuesday’s berthing incident where the ferry was badly damaged.

MV Hebridean Isles is now operating the Stornoway-Ullapool freight service after MV Clipper Ranger was pulled out of action.

MV Clipper Ranger is now in Liverpool for repairs.

MV Clipper Ranger is now in Liverpool for repairs.

It is understood that the MV Clipper Ranger experienced a complete power failure while berthing in Stornoway and as a result she collided with Pier No 1.

The vessel is owned, operated and crewed by Seatruck Ferries but is chartered to Calmac to provide the overnight freight route between Stornoway and Ullapool.

Alistair Eagles, Managing Director of Seatruck told the Gazette an investigation was underway to find out the cause of the incident.

He said: “At 7:45am on Tuesday the Ranger was berthing in Stornoway after normal passage from Ullapool. It had an incident when berthing and made contact with the quay. It sustained some damage to the rear port side.”

He said two representatives from Seatruck had flown to Stornoway on Tuesday to begin an investigation and until that was completed, they were unable to say what had gone wrong.

“The damage will need to be repaired before she is able to trade on that route again,” he said. “She is out of action and a full investigation is underway.”

He said they were fully aware of the importance of the vessel and the lifeline service it provided and it was their priority to get the ship back into service.

Pier No.1 was damaged but is still usable and will be surveyed to assess the situation.

Jane Maciver, Chief Executive of Stornoway Port Authority said: “The new fender and one of the concrete piles have been damaged. We’ll know more once a proper assessment has taken place.”

There will also be an investigation by the Marine Accident Investigation Bureau.