Fishing gear halts Campbeltown ferry

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By Mark Davey

A rope and buoy disabled CalMac’s MV Isle of Arran as it entered Campbeltown harbour.

Comments on social media last Friday said that the Thursday night ferry from Ardrossan had snagged, what was described as: ‘fishing gear’ and would not sail on Friday morning.

A CalMac spokesperson said: ‘Just before 10 pm on Thursday, August 3, the Master of the MV Isle of Arran reported a rope and buoy trapped in the area of the stabiliser.

‘The buoy was removed but the rope remained fast requiring divers to be called in to remove it.

‘The divers were unable to attend until late Friday morning resulting in the morning service to Ardrossan being delayed until early afternoon.

‘We apologise for any inconvenience caused to our passengers.’

The failure to keep to the published schedule comes on the back of 20 cancelled sailings in June which only saw 11 successful ferry journeys.

Speaking about those sailings, last week, the CalMac spokesperson said: ‘We regret that a combination of poor weather and technical problems with the MV Isle of Arran had a detrimental impact on the Ardrossan to Campbeltown service in June.’

At the end of July there was a further failed sailing from Ardrossan on a Sunday afternoon which stranded Campbeltown passengers.

CalMac reported that occurred due to a problem with the MV Isle of Arran’s port main engine which required her sailing, on one engine, to Ardrossan for repairs.

‘We are not allowed to carry passengers on only one engine,’ the spokesperson said.

In a letter to the Courier Alex McKinven wrote: ‘My family were stranded at Ardrossan by CalMac on July 23 without an explanation, it is certainly galling to say the least.

‘There were many others in the same predicament – its just madness given a fine day and flat calm conditions.

‘I know CalMac will conjure up some sort of excuse, but the unpredictability of the service is not the helping Campbeltown or indeed the company itself.’

The MV Isle of Arran leaving Campbeltown. 20_c40ferry09