The CalMac ferry serving the Lochboisdale-Mallaig route was out of service again yesterday (Friday 9 December), after MV Lord of the Isles was found to have ‘a local area of steel wastage’ needing a repair.
The Lord of the Isles returned to service only this week, after a delay in her annual upgrade service.
But CalMac said the area where the defect has been identified was not part of the planned and scheduled survey area during this year's overhaul, and its discovery has led to all sailings being cancelled.
The ferry operators are assessing the condition of the surrounding steel to allow them to finalise the repair solution.
This meant that today (Saturday 10 December) – with MV Lord of the Isles undergoing repairs in Kennacraig, the following sailing has been cancelled: Depart Lochboisdale - 09:40
The works carried out on the vessels steelwork were successful.
However due to an emergent issue with MV Lord of the Isles’ radar system, which restricts the vessel’s operation in hours of darkness, the following sailing has now been cancelled:
Depart Oban - 14:00
Following discussions with the relevant authorities, the vessel will reposition to Lochboisdale today (Saturday) and intends to operate a service between Lochboisdale and Mallaig on Sunday.
The following amended timetable will operate until Tuesday December 13 -
Depart Lochboisdale - 08:40
Arrive Mallaig - 12:10
Depart Mallaig - 12:50
Arrive Lochboisdale - 16:20
So services will operate to/from Mallaig and not Oban as originally timetabled for Monday.
A specialist engineer is being arranged to attend the vessel and an update regarding the repair will be provided once more information is available.
(This article has been updated since first being posted)