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Essential repairs to the MV Loch Seaforth continue to progress well and plans are being finalised for her return to service, CalMac Ferries Ltd said tonight (Monday May 24).

Specialist engineers are currently rebuilding her engine and report that she should be able to leave wet dock in Greenock on Friday 28 May, once successful testing has been carried out

The vessel will then undergo the required 50-hour period of sea trials whilst in transit to Stornoway.

Following the initial repair to the MV Loch Seaforth engine, damage to the crankshaft was identified during post-repair testing that required further action.

The crankshaft bearings have now been disassembled and inspected and the damaged bearing has been replaced. Related damage has been repaired by polishing. The sump and oil system has also been cleaned and inspected. Intrusive inspections have been conducted and no further damage has been found. 

If the Loch Seaforth successfully resumes service from Monday 31 May, CalMac Ferries Ltd expect that:

  • Barra-Oban will recommence on Wednesday 2 June with the MV Isle of Lewis.

  • Islay-Kennacraig two-vessel service on Wednesday 2 June – the MV Heb Isles will return to this service

  • Brodick-Ardrossan two vessel service will resume on Thursday 3 June - MV Isle of Arran will return from the Islay service

  • Campbeltown Summer season will start on Thursday 3 June with the MV Isle of Arran

  • Lochboisdale-Mallaig and Mallaig-Armadale will recommence on Wednesday 2 June with the MV Lord of the Isles.

On arrival at Stornoway, the Loch Seaforth will undertake further inspection to ensure that no further issues have arisen from the sea trials.

Until the MV Loch Seaforth is back in service, existing temporary arrangements and timetables will remain in place, including the replacement freight service on Stornoway-Ullapool and the temporary timetable on Ardrossan-Brodick.

Robbie Drummond, Managing Director of CalMac, said: “Specialists are working throughout the day and night on the MV Loch Seaforth to ensure her safe return to Stornoway-Ullapool.

“This has been an extremely frustrating time for passengers and our staff and I am grateful to them all for their continued patience.”