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The crew of the Sound of Barra ferry MV Loch Alainn have received warm praise from grateful travellers, after going beyond the call of duty to make sure no-one was stranded on Saturday (25 June).

Julia and Steve Hewitt, who stay in Carnan in North Uist, were returning home after a day in Barra with their dogs, expecting to cross the sound on the 5.30pm ferry.

Unknown to them, deteriorating weather had brought forward the final sailing of the afternoon, which had departed at 4pm – six minutes before they received the text warning them of a change to the service.

Julia said: “We received notification of the cancellation at 16:06 just as we pulled in, believing we had plenty of time to freshen up and have a snack.

“The last ferry of the day was cancelled due to deteriorating weather conditions, meaning the last sailing was 16:00 hrs.”

The sinking feeling any passenger gets having missed the boat was quickly replaced by overwhelming gratitude, as Julia reported.

She said: “The ferry had just pulled away (for the second time, apparently) but spotted us and came back!

“Shout out to the wonderful crew of the MV Loch Alainn who returned to Ardmhor ferry terminal not once but twice this evening to pick up would-be stranded passengers.

“We are both extremely grateful and would like them to know that, as well as letting everyone else know what a fantastic crew they are.”

Her compliments received a warm reception after being posted on South Uist and Barra social media pages, with residents and visitors quick to back her up.

One said: “Absolutely fantastic, this is great reading. Well done the crew and good on you for being so nice posting this.”

Another said: “All the crews are just wonderful. It’s not their fault the ferries have been unreliable lately.”