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Services disrupted one month after ferry breakdown

A month after one of the most serious breakdowns ever suffered by one of its ferries, Caledonian

MacBrayne sevices are showing no signs of returning to normal.

Sailings to Islay, Colonsay, Coll, Tiree, Barra, South Uist and Mull have been affected at the height of the tourist season, with the 12-year-old Clansman out of action since June 17.

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CalMac has tried without success to lease a replacement vessel while the Clansman undergoes crankshaft repairs.

Timetables have been altered to allow the slower and smaller Hebridean Isles to operate on the route, to

Lochboisdale.

Changes have also been made to the Islay run, which it normally shares with another vessel.

It had been hoped the Clansman would be back in action by this weekend, but Calmac managing director Phil Preston said specialist engineers repairing the crankshaft encountered a problem while reassembling the engine.

Preston said. “We share everyone’s frustration that we are not able to provide our full service and are grateful for the patience and understanding of our customers.”

Western Isles SNP MSP, Alasdair Allan, who met Preston yesterday, said: “While I realise this is not an event that Calmac could have foreseen, and I realise they are scouring Europe for alternative vessels, it is right that they should be made aware of the concerns of my constituents.”

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