Damaged CalMac ferry to return to service in Western Isles

CalMac's MV Hebrides. Picture: Donald MacLeod

CalMac's MV Hebrides. Picture: Donald MacLeod

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A CalMac ferry which was damaged after running aground on North Uist is to return to service.

The MV Hebrides has been out of action after crashing in Lochmaddy harbour in the Western Isles last month.

The vessel had 76 passengers onboard when it ran aground on the rocky seabed and shore.

The ferry will leave dry dock after repairs in Greenock on Saturday.

READ MORE: CalMac wins ferry contract after rival bid ruled non-compliant

The vessel will return to service on the Uig, Tarbert and Lochmaddy service on Monday, pending the successful result of sea trials.

Monday, therefore, will also see MVs Clansman and Lord of the Isles return to their usual routes and resume normal service.

Repositioning of vessels will take place on Sunday.

Customers are being advised to check CalMac’s website and social media channels for details about their routes and any changes which have been implemented.

Colonsay’s Sunday service has been amended to go from Kennacraig via Port Askaig using MV Hebridean Isles to allow Hebrides and Clansman to reposition.

CalMac’s Ross Moran, General Manager Operations, said: “Many communities have been disrupted to a greater or lesser extent by MV Hebrides being taken out of service for dry-dock repairs.

“None more so than South Uist, which temporarily lost its daily return service from Lochboisdale to Mallaig with MV Lord of the Isles.

“ While there has been some very understandable frustration about the situation, there has also been a much appreciated amount of understanding and support, for which CalMac is very grateful.

READ MORE: CalMac announces new routes to Scottish islands for winter

“We thank the people and businesses of South Uist and all other communities affected by this uncertain period for their great patience and we apologise for the undoubted inconvenience.

“We look forward to successful completion of sea trials for MV Hebrides on Saturday and a return to normal service across the network on Monday.”

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