Another devastating below has been dealt to Uist and the Western Isles as a whole with the renewed cancellation of the ferry services from Lochboisdale.
CalMac has announced that MV Hebridean Isles will enter dry dock today as the vessel continues to experience pitch control issues and will not return to Islay as planned this weekend.
Following a lengthy delay to her required annual maintenance, MV Finlaggan must leave service on the Islay route at the end of Saturday 3 June and travel to dry dock.
Therefore, MV Lord of the Isles will be redeployed to operate alongside MV Isle of Arran on a two-vessel service on Islay, which will be a reduction in available capacity.
CalMac say: "Unfortunately, this will result in the cancellation of the Lochboisdale service from 3-30 June, which is when MV Finlaggan is expected to return from annual maintenance.
"If the Hebridean Isles is back in service before the end of June, this cancellation will be reviewed. The option of providing additional sailings on the Sound of Barra and on the Little Minch to support displaced traffic are currently being investigated.
"Based on the Route Prioritisation Process, this would impact the least number of customers. This offers displaced Lochboisdale customers, who can use alternative routes for travel, connections via the Sound of Barra and Castlebay, or Lochmaddy, where space allows."
The option of providing additional sailings on the Sound of Barra and on the Little Minch to support displaced traffic are currently being investigated.
The ferry services from Lochboisdale have been constantly cancelled for weeks at a time and only restarted last Sunday.
Robert Morrison, Operations Director for CalMac, said: “This was an extremely difficult decision and I understand that this will be disruptive for the local community and for customers who had planned to use this route. I apologise for the affect that this cancellation will have and can assure customers that we are working hard to get vessels back in service.
“MV Alfred has had a temporary repair carried out to her thruster – however, she cannot operate the published timetable as she is unable to operate to Kennacraig and would need to operate to either Troon or Campbeltown, which reduces the number of sailings that could be carried out. Therefore, the decision has been taken to retain her on the Arran service.”
Elsewhere, the Ardrossan to Campbeltown route remains cancelled until June 29. Tomorrow's service from Colonsay has been cancelled.