Divers to begin inspection of harbour crash ferry

The MV Hebrides. Picture: TSPL

The MV Hebrides. Picture: TSPL

10
Have your say

Divers will today begin their inspection of the Caledonian MacBrayne ferry that crashed into a harbour as it tried to dock.

The MV Hebrides, which had 76 people on board, was heading into Lochmaddy on North Uist when the incident happened on Sunday morning.

A technical failure on board meant the ship was unable to slow down enough for routine docking and it struck both harbour pontoons.

The hull also “briefly touched the seabed” during the collision, officials confirmed.

Divers travelled to Lochmaddy and they are due to make an inspection of the below-water area of the hull on Monday.

The findings will then determine what action needs to be taken.

CalMac, which has apologised for the inconvenience caused by the incident, has put on extra sailings to help ease the disruption.

Two return sailings, instead of the usual single return journey, were to operate on Monday from Lochboisdale on South Uist to Mallaig in the Highlands.

The firm was also operating an additional return sailing on the Berneray to Leverburgh, Isle of Harris, route.

CalMac has launched an inquiry into what went wrong.

The vessel, which had been carrying passengers from Tarbert on Harris, had 76 passengers and crew on board at the time, as well as 13 cars, one lorry and a motorhome.

No-one was injured in the incident, which took place shortly after 11am.

Services on the route were expected to be disrupted for at least 48 hours after the collision, with passengers advised to check the CalMac website and social media for updates on alternative travel plans. They can also call 0800 066 5000.

Operations director, Drew Collier, said: “We are doing everything possible to ease disruption for our customers and apologise for the undoubted inconvenience which is being experienced.

“We are grateful for the support, patience and understanding we have received from passengers and we ask that our customers continue to bear with us while we work to sort out the best alternatives possible.

“The safety of our passengers, crew and vessel is paramount and everyone can be assured that a full formal investigation is under way.”

’Like’ The Scotsman on Facebook for regular updates

DOWNLOAD THE SCOTSMAN APP ON ITUNES OR GOOGLE PLAY

Back to the top of the page