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In a final indignity for CalMac’s beleaguered island service, a small charter boat was yesterday (Monday 3 January) the only lifeline for passengers who urgently needed to travel between Barra and South Uist.

Askernish-based Uist Sea Tours took on what they described as the ‘slightly lumpy’ waters of the Minch to run a series of passenger-only returns between South Uist and Ardmhor.

The 12-passenger vessel Karleen Belle has indoor seating, which allowed the charter to take individuals with no other choices in relative comfort yesterday.

Today, even that service is suspended in the face of building wind speeds, although CalMac plan to review the possibility of re-instating the Uist Sea Tours charter if conditions allow tomorrow.

Pictures show Uist Sea Tours’ vessel Karleen Belle taking on the ‘lumpy’ waters of the Minch and the view from her skipper’s seat of MV Loch Bhrusda tied up awaiting repair (Uist Sea Tours).