CalMac have said that the MV Loch Seaforth did not ‘break down’ yesterday, but an operational decision was made not to have the vessel sail from Ullapool.
A CalMac spokesperson said: “The MV Loch Seaforth is still going through a commissioning phase and is not in full service. This period is being used to put the ship through her paces and iron out any teething problems which may arise. The MV Isle of Lewis has been retained to provide cover in the event that these teething issues require her to be withdrawn from the route.
“Yesterday evening an issue arose with an engine room ventilation fan which required attention and an operational decision was taken to remove her from the route while it was fixed and the MV isle of Lewis was deployed to maintain the service.
“While passengers were delayed, and we regret any inconvenience to them, no-one was ‘stranded.’
“This was not a major issue but it required around 5 hours of work as the fan was in a difficult to reach location. Repairs were concluded by 11 p.m. and she sailed from Ullapool about an hour later.
“We would not consider this to be a ‘breakdown’ as it was an operational decision not to sail, rather than one forced upon us by a mechanical issue which prevented her sailing.
“She is now back in Stornoway. Along with a number of other routes on the west coast, services between Stornoway and Ullapool have been cancelled today due to extreme weather conditions. This is entirely unconnected with the technical issue.”