Propeller problem puts ferry out of service again

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Uncertainty remains over when the MV Isle of Arran will be able to resume service on the Brodick to Ardrossan ferry route.

The aging vessel limped out of service last Friday night forcing passengers with upcoming reservations having to make hasty rearrangements as spaces on the other ferries filled up fast.

After sitting idle all day at the second pier at the new Brodick ferry terminal on Saturday the vessel was able to head for repair under her own steam to try and resolve an issue with her propeller pitch system.

It is just the latest problem to hit the 35-year-old vessel which regularly needs repairs and is often out of service when the winds pick up. It is due to serve as the second Arran ferry until September 24.

The impact of a one-ship service is having a knock-in effect for passengers on the main Arran route and services to Campbeltown were cancelled this week, with no guaranteed date being set for her return to service.

Engineers have been trying to resolve the problem since the issue first arose last Friday, however following sea trials on Monday, their efforts had proven ineffectual and the ship headed to dry dock for repair.

A spokesman from ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne said: ‘At present it is not possible to say with certainty when the MV Isle of Arran will return to service but every effort will be made to return her to service as soon as possible next week. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.’

In order to make up for some the loss of capacity, due to the cancellation of 10 services a day, the MV Caledonian Isles has been making additional sailing to cope with the workload. These sailings have been  for customers that have been affected by the cancellations and were not open to new bookings.

In addition to the two extra sailing being undertaken by the MV Caledonian Isles, which is currently scheduled until Tuesday August 28, the MV Loch Linnhe has been drafted in to assist the MV Catriona on the Claoniag to Lochranza route to provide extra cover.

Additional staff have been drafted in to crew the additional sailings and staff numbers have also been increased at Brodick, Ardrossan, Lochranza and Claonaig ports to cope with additional pressures.

Affected customers are advised to contact 0800 066 5000 or message Caledonian MacBrayne on social media @calmac_updates to reschedule bookings. Service status and information can be found at www.calmac.co.uk/service-status

 

The MV Isle of Arran leaves Brodick under its own steam on Saturday night. 01_B34ferry01