Fire breaks out aboard CalMac ferry Hebrides in latest setback to fleet

Firefighters were called out to attend a blaze on one of CalMac’s problem-prone ferries.

The fire broke out on the Hebrides soon after the vessel set sail from Uig on the Isle of Skye on Tuesday. The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) were alerted to the incident at 2:40pm.

The fire occurred in the ferry’s engine room.

A statement posted to CalMac’s website confirmed the vessel had returned to Uig following the fire, where it would be berthed overnight while further investigations would take place.

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CalMac said it was awaiting an update from the fire service before a decision was taken over whether the ferry would have to be taken out of service.

Two ferry sailings had been cancelled as of Tuesday night.

A CalMac spokeswoman said: “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.”

The MV Hebrides ferry in port at LochmaddyThe MV Hebrides ferry in port at Lochmaddy
The MV Hebrides ferry in port at Lochmaddy

The Hebrides transports passengers from Uig to Lochmaddy and Tarbert, the main settlements of North Uist and Harris respectively. The incident means services on the key route are delayed and liable to further disruption or cancellation.

The incident comes after the Hebrides was detained in port at Lochmaddy earlier this week with engine problems, with the vessel unable to fulfil a scheduled 6am sailing to Ullapool.

A SFRS spokesperson 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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