Ferry pulled after firefighting system fault for second time in week

The MV Hebrides has been pulled from service affecting sailings between Skye, North Uist and Harris.

CalMac MV Hebrides ferry service affecting services sailings between Skye, North Uist and Harris CalMacFerries
The same issue occurred with the firefighting system on July 27.

A CalMac ferry has been pulled from service after the vessel developed a fault with its firefighting system, for the second time in less than a week.

Sailings between Skye, North Uist and Harris have been disrupted after the MV Hebrides was taken off the route on Monday.

The boat, which previously underwent repair work in May after striking a pier on Uist, was sent to Ullapool to undergo remediation work on July 27.

Several sailings between the ports of Uig, Lochmaddy and Tarbert have been cancelled or subjected to severe delays as a result on Tuesday.

CalMac said it is “currently exploring contingency plans and will provide an update when available”.

The ferry operator added that it was contacting customers affected by the cancellations directly.

Finlay MacRae, head of operations at CalMac, said: “Very regrettably, MV Hebrides has had a reoccurrence of the issue with her CO2 firefighting system that emerged last week, and we are sorry to announce that sailings today have had to be cancelled as a result of this.

“We are currently working on relocating the vessel to a mainland location to allow the necessary specialist teams to effect repairs. We will confirm estimated repair times shortly.

“All affected customers are being contacted and advised to travel via Lochboisdale-Mallaig or Stornoway – Ullapool, although space is extremely limited as we are at a peak demand period of the summer.

“We recognise that this situation is very difficult and inconvenient for our customers, especially so soon after the most recent disruption, and we sincerely apologise to everyone affected and will do our best to find alternative options where these exist.

“While we know this process is time consuming and frustrating for customers, our staff are doing their very best to help and should not be subjected to aggression or violent behaviour”.