A wedding was under threat from the cancellation of all sailings between Oban and Castlebay today (Friday July 12th) and Saturday due to a technical fault with the MV Isle of Lewis.
Angus MacNeil MP was in touch with Calmac this morning regarding this "unacceptable situation."
And CalMac has pulled out the stops to get a connection between the mainland and the Isle of Barra running in time to save the island wedding.
MV Isle of Mull is due to cross from Oban to Castlebay at 6.30pm tonight (Friday July 12th), arriving into Barra at midnight.
But the ferry operators warn there’s limited availability on the crossing, saying: “Any intending passengers should arrive as early as possible to ensure travel. Any foot passengers intending to travel on this service should ensure they are at the port no later than 17:30.”
The service replaces today’s cancelled 1.30pm, with MV Isle of Lewis out of commission due to a technical fault.
Tomorrow’s morning sailing from Castlebay is cancelled and a review is expected at 6pm tonight to see whether the 1.30pm departure from Oban will run. It’s currently listed as subject to last minute disruption or cancellation.
Angus MacNeil said earlier : “It came to our attention late last night that the Friday and Saturday sailings between Oban and Castlebay were to be cancelled in their entirety leaving Barra with no connections.
“There is a big wedding on the Island this weekend so clearly this situation is not acceptable. It is very important that the MV Isle of Mull can serve Barra on Friday to get the wedding party and band to the island. There are a lot of people coming to the wedding over and above the normal and very important tourist and business connections at this particularly busy time of year.
“The best solution would be to deploy the MV Isle of Mull on the Barra run, and I know that Calmac are actively working on this and are looking for crew to enable this to happen. So I would appeal to all involved at Calmac to do their best to get a sailing from Oban to Castlebay today.
“For Saturday, deploying the MV Lord of the Isles to run to Barra during the day has also been suggested locally as another possible solution. This makes sense as sailing to Islands must be prioritised rather than sailing to ports that can be and are connected by road.
“Calmac are working to resolve this issue but Island frustration is evidently huge given the time of year and the various pressures that people are feeling. Particularly for those involved in the Island wedding time is critical.”