The crisis for ferry travellers from Harris and North Uist deepened tonight after Caledonian MacBrayne announced that all sailings are cancelled on the Lochmaddy and Tarbert routes on Monday "due to a technical issue." The issue involved the mv Hebrides developing a fault which meant it failed to come alongside the pier in Lochmaddy and instead ploughed on straight past it, finally colliding with part of a yacht marina and the seabed itself.
A bus will leave Tarbert at 05:15 tomorrow (Monday) to take foot passengers to Stornoway to connect with the 07:00 sailing to Ullapool. Onward travel to Inverness and Uig will be provided.
Investigations on the vessel are ongoing and an update will be provided as soon as more information becomes available.
All customers with bookings will be contacted to arrange an alternative sailing. Passengers are advised to use the Stornoway - Ullapool service as an alternative route. "We are sorry for the disruption caused to our customers," the CalMac statement said.
Passengers from North Uist are being advised to use the Lochboisdale-Mallaig service as an alternative route. There will be additional sailings on the Lochboisdale-Mallaig service tomorrow to provide extra alternatives for passengers. You can view the Lochboisdale timetable here: https://www.calmac.co.uk/service-status?route=37
An additional sailings will also operate on the Sound of Harris route tomorrow (Monday) , departing Berneray at 09:45 ano departing Leverburgh at 10:55 to assist people travelling to and from Stonoway as a substitute port.
CalMac's Operations Director Drew Collier said: "We are doing everything possible to ease disruption for our customers and apologise for the undoubted inconvenience which is being experienced.
"We are grateful for the support, patience and understanding we have received from passengers and we ask that our customers continue to bear with us while we work to sort out the best alternatives possible.
"The safety of our passengers, crew and vessel is paramount and everyone can be assured that a full formal investigation is underway."
The company is speaking directly to customers affected to ensure that the best alternatives for them are made.
Customers should continue to check CalMac's website www.calmac.co.uk and social media channels for any further updates.