Ferry service faces further cancellations after MV Pentalina grounding

The operator announced that services on the St Margaret's Hope to Gills Bay route would be cancelled.

Orkney Ferry services face two weeks of cancellations after Pentalina grounding, Pentland Ferries announces STV News

Ferry passengers travelling to and from Orkney are facing a further fortnight of disruption following the grounding of the MV Pentalina.

Operator Pentland Ferries announced on Sunday night that services on the St Margaret’s Hope to the mainland’s Gills Bay route would be cancelled up to and including Sunday May 21. 

On Saturday, April 29, the MV Pentalina ran aground at St Margaret’s Hope in Orkney with 60 passengers on board.

No-one was hurt but the incident remains under two separate investigations by the Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA) and the Marine Accident Investigation Board (MAIB).

In a statement on Sunday, Pentland Ferries said: “We are grateful for the many expressions of concern and support following the grounding of MV Pentalina last Saturday April 29. On the back of these, we would like to confirm that MCA and MAIB investigations are still ongoing. 

“We regret that we are now cancelling all passenger bookings on the St Margaret’s Hope to Gills Bay route up to and including Sunday May 21. All booked passengers are being contacted directly. 

“We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience. We are doing all we can to minimise the disruption and will share any further updates as and when we can.”

Initial reports suggest the ferry suffered from a “sudden mechanical failure”, according to the MCA.

Last week, ferry operator NorthLink said it had added an extra service to its Sunday timetable to help with the extra passenger demand.

Every Sunday until June 25, NorthLink will run an additional return crossing between Stromness on Orkney and Scrabster on the mainland.

Pentland Ferries normally uses the MV Alfred on the route which has just begun a nine-month charter with CalMac to provide relief services to its west coast routes.

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