The Norwegian cargo vessel Fame made her way to Stornoway late last night (Thursday September 20th) tying up at west no. 1 pier in Stornoway harbour just after 10.30pm.
It’s not known why she ran aground in East Loch Tarbert early on Sunday morning, given that there were no exceptional tidal or weather conditions.
The Maritime and Coastguard Authority said: “The MCA’s Enforcement Branch is currently looking into the incident, and it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”
Ferry services into and out of Tarbert have returned to normal timetable after five days of disruption for passengers, caused by a complete block on use of Tarbert harbour while Fame was repaired and inspected.
MCA safety inspectors yesterday passed the fish-farm cargo vessel safe to go to sea, following temporary repairs to damage below the waterline.
An MCA spokesman said: “We are pleased to say that temporary repairs have been made to the MV Fame and the vessel has now been authorised to relocate to a suitable repair facility. We would like to thank the local community and all those affected for their understanding and patience during this time.”
The MCA’s speed of response was criticised by isles MP Angus MacNeil, who called on the agency to recognise the significance of the Uig-Tarbert ferry as a lifeline service. On Tuesday (September 18th) he said: “Certainly the MCA should have had all relevant personnel here a lot sooner. If the situation is acute enough (for the Fame) to be on the CalMac berth it is acute enough for the MCA to have been there sooner.”
Fame is now due to leave Stornoway tomorrow (Saturday Sept 22nd) heading for Troon, where she will be repaired in dry dock from Monday onwards.