Main Fleet News
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PLEASE NOTE: the Fleet News pages are no longer updated on a regular basis. For news updates as movements happen, go to the SoC Forum where news is reported very frequently - you can even report it yourself!
 DATE  NEWS
31/07/06 Clyde:
Saturn is struggling today with the weather, having had to come south as far as Clauchlands point to make her turn for Brodick. She is estimated to reach Brodick around 1025.
Update:
Due to adverse weather conditions the 1330 ex Ardrossan and 1545 ex Brodick Saturn sailings have been cancelled.
(check external link above for updates)
Due to mechanical problems with Juno the following one vessel service using Bute will operate until further notice on the Wemyss Bay - Rothesay roster:

Picture: Iain McPherson, Clyde Shipping
Saturn @ Ardrossan this morning

  1100 dep Rothesay
1215 dep Wemyss Bay
1300 dep Rothesay
1345 dep Wemyss Bay
1430 dep Rothesay
1515 dep Wemyss Bay
1600 dep Rothesay
1645 dep Wemyss Bay
1730 dep Rothesay
1815 dep Wemyss Bay
1900 dep Rothesay
1945 dep Wemyss Bay
Update:
Due to the late running of Bute, she is now sailing on the 2a roster having just left Rothesay at 1645.
Update 1730:
Juno is now back in service alongside Bute for the remainder of the day.
 
26/07/06 Clyde:
Having been relieved by Juno once more at Rothesay, Saturn returned to her Arran duties this morning, arriving in Ardrossan at 1130 having taken a northerly route via Sannox as opposed to her regular route closer to Holy Isle.
 
25/07/06 Clyde:
Saturn
came off the Arran run after her arrival in Ardrossan yesterday morning and then proceeded north to assume a relief role on the Wemyss Bay - Rothesay crossing. Juno sailed up the Clyde to Gourock where she spent much of the day on the Gourock - Dunoon roster while Jupiter lay at the wires undergoing maintenance. With Jupiter back in service at 1920, Juno then retired to the wires for work to be carried out. It was expected the Juno would head back down to her own roster by the end of today, with Saturn returning to the Ardrossan - Brodick secondary timetable once more.
 
24/07/06 Northlink:
At 0915 this morning Shetland Coastguard received an emergency call from Hamnavoe, undertaking her regular route from Scrabster to Stromness on Orkney, alerting the marine emergency services to a woman in her 40s who had gone overboard. The ferry crew advised the Coastguard that their rescue boat was being lowered into the water and that they would atempt to recover the casualty. The woman was in the water for around 10 minutes before being recovered and brought back aboard.
 
23/07/06 Clyde:
Juno
is currently heading up river (1350) towards Gourock. She sat in Wemyss Bay until Bute arrived and then departed.
Update 1642:
She has now moved to Gourock and Switched off her AIS.
Update 1834:
Juno is now heading back to Rothesay, doing her usual 12.1 knots the problem appearing to be fixed.
It appears that due to a mechanical problem with Juno the following service will operate:
15.15, 16.45, 18.15 and 19.45 sailings from Rothesay.
16.00, 17.30, 19.00 and 20.40 sailings from Wemyss Bay.

Saturn sailings from Ardrossan - Brodick will be withdrawn until further notice after the 0715 sailing from Brodick on Monday 24th July. This suggests either that Saturn too is experiencing technical trouble, or that she may be returning north to cover for Juno if required. We will keep you updated...
 
21/07/06 Past Fleet:
Her Majesty the Queen, currently on a cruise round the West Coast of Scotland made a stop at Islay today. She went ashore at Port Ellen after disembarking from her ship for the voyage - the ex CalMac ferry Hebridean Princess. The picture opposite shows the Queen and the Captain of the Hebridean Princess.

Picture: Elliott Bowman SoC
The Queen today at Islay

 
19/07/06 SoC Fleet News LIVE! Were Here as It Happens!
Clyde:
Saturn
has just diverted to assist a bather on a lilo off Ardrossan. Upon arrival a closer yacht had already picked up the stranded youngster. Saturn then made her way to check three other floating inflatables which have drifted out from the shore. Her fast rescue craft was manned and made ready to go but wasn't required. After the Troon lifeboat turned up she made off and is now due to arrive in Ardrossan at c1710.

Picture: SoC Crew
Fast craft on Saturn today

 
18/07/06 Clyde:
Largs - Cumbrae
services suspended this morning due to dense fog in the channel.
Update:
Services resumed at Largs after fog cleared at 1000.

Elsewhere the network is seeing dense fog too but no other disruptions have been reported.
Isle of Mull made her way over to Craignure passing a almost invisible Duart Castle. Foghorns were present in the Sound too.

Picture: SoC Crew
Duart Castle from IoM

 
17/07/06 Clyde:
Wemyss Bay - Rothesay:

After resolving mechanical problems with Juno all back to normal this morning.
 
16/07/06 Clyde:
Wemyss Bay - Rothesay:

Due to mechanical problems with Juno the following sailings were cancelled:
1730 Rothesay-Wemyss Bay
1815 Wemyss Bay-Rothesay
1900 Rothesay-Wemyss Bay
1945 Wemyss Bay-Rothesay
Juno had to vacate the pier at 1800 to allow Waverley to berth; she returned, very slowly, after the paddler had departed and tied up for the night.

Alicat continued to provide relief support for the Glasgow River Festival today shuttling visitors to the Science Centre from Braehead.
See yesterdays news for more information on her charter.

Picture: Tom Carreyette
Alicat in Glasgow
Picture: Tom Carreyette
Alicat loads passengers

 
15/07/06 Clyde:
Wemyss Bay - Rothesay:

Due to mechanical problems with Juno the following sailings were cancelled:
1600 Rothesay - Wemyss Bay
1645 Wemyss Bay - Rothesay
1730 Rothesay - Wemyss Bay
1815 Wemyss Bay - Rothesay
Juno took the 1900 from Rothesay, leaving 40 minutes late, and completed the timetable that evening with the 2110 ex Rothesay and 2200 ex Wemyss Bay.
Bute arrived in Wemyss Bay at 1730 with many foot passengers disembarking; there were several hundred pedestrians queuing at Rothesay when the Bute arrived, some may have been left behind when she departed at around 1830.
 
Alicat has been chartered to ferry passengers from Braehead up to Glasgow north bank today and tomorrow for the Glasgow River Festival. Clyde Marines Second Snark was supposed to perform this duty but was unavailable due to technical difficulties. It has been many years since a CalMac flag (as Alicat is a chartered boat) has been seen this far up the river.

Picture: Stuart Cameron
Alicat returns from Glasgow

 
14/07/06 Clyde:
Wemyss Bay - Rothesay:

Due to mechanical problems with Juno the following sailings were cancelled:
0930 Rothesay - Wemyss Bay
1015 Wemyss Bay - Rothesay
 
11/07/06 Clyde:
On this day last year, Bute maid her fist sailing on the Wemyss Bay - Rothesay roster. Berthing cautiously at both sides it was also the hottest day for a decade in the area. Saturn also made her first trip south to Ardrossan to test out the berth for her new role as second Brodick ferry a year ago today.
 
08/07/06 Western Isles:
Hebridean Isles was 6 minuets late departing Port Ellen this morning. The reason for her delay was due to a HGV's brakes becoming jammed on. Crew and Staff eventually managed to get the lorry off the vessel. She eventually departed at 0951.

Clyde:
Ardrossan - Brodick:

Due to adverse weather the following sailings on Saturn only are cancelled:
1830 ex Ardrossan Tonight.
1030 ex Brodick Tomorrow (Sunday 9th July)
There are no disruptions on the Caledonian Isles.
(check external link above for updates)

Picture: Elliott Bowman
Hebridean Isles

 
06/07/06 Company News:
New Contract Awarded for Northern Isles Service (external link)

Following the announcement a few months ago that CalMac was the preferred bidder to take over the Orkney and Shetland routes, NorthLink Ferries Ltd has been formed and today completed the handover of the package of routes. See the external link above and also click here for information on the official CalMac site.

Picture:
Hjaltland departing Lerwick
at 1850 this evening

 
05/07/06 Western Isles:
Delays are being experienced on the Oban - Craignure service again today. Isle of Mull was 20 minutes late back in from Craignure, arriving at 1405 and then leaving again just after 1425. This delayed Hebridean Isles which has just berthed at the linkspan at 1430. Lord of the Isles, due in at 1420 is also running late, having arrived in Oban Bay at 1445 and is now awaiting the linkspan. It is thought that the Mull delays are caused partly by the busy 1000 sailing from Oban. Prior to sailing, the Isle of Mull sits at Oban for 30 minutes and loads large numbers of foot passengers. Once at Craignure, she has only 15 minutes to discharge these and reload the returning passengers, although in today's case, this was compounded by the temporary breakdown of the Oban passenger gangway and foot passengers were, for a while, having to board via the linkspan and the stern ramp.
 
03/07/06 Clyde:
Both Cumbrae vessels Loch Alainn and Loch Riddon had to share Cumbrae slip at 1600 this afternoon. Loch Alainn had a touring coach stuck on her vehicle ramp and the crew made arrangements to free it.

Saturn sailed from Brodick this morning at 0730 looking like she's keeping to her roster after her recent absence.

Company News:
New Chairman for CalMac Appointed (external link)

The appointment of Caledonian MacBrayne's new chairman has been announced by the Scottish Executive.  Peter Timms, 62, currently a board member, will be replacing Harold Mills, who is stepping down on 31 July. Mr Timms, a member of the Argyll and the Islands Enterprise board, will remain in the post for three years. Transport Minister Tavish Scott said that the appointment would help the company through its current restructuring process. Speaking during a visit to Benbecula, he added: "CalMac has a crucial role in providing lifeline ferry services to island and remote mainland communities in the Clyde and Hebrides. "This appointment, coupled with the experience and skills of the current board members will help the company through the current difficult process of restructuring. "I am delighted that Peter Timms has agreed to accept the challenge and lead CalMac for a three-year term." He said Mr Timms' skills and knowledge would benefit passengers and businesses, as well as taking CalMac forward in the next stage of its development. "The post requires continued strong leadership, an understanding of the issues which affect the social and economic life of the Highlands and Islands and a clear vision of the future," Mr Scott added. Mr Timms lives on Bute and is currently chairman and managing director of Rothesay Company, Flexible Technology Limited. He was first appointed to the CalMac Board in July 2000 and re-appointed in July 2003.
 
01/07/06 Clyde:
Juno was late running for some of the afternoon but gained time progressively and got back onto schedule by the evening. Bute on the other hand kept getting later during the day and is reportedly back to her creeping up to piers cautiously.
CalMac at Brodick confirmed Saturn will be operating today. At the moment there are no other details as to weather she will be operating a normal timetable or not.
Update 0920:
Saturn
is currently on her way over to Ardrossan (Arran).
Update 1035:
Saturn left Brodick at approx 1033 while Caledonian Isles canted in the bay awaiting her smaller counterparts departure.

Picture: Allan Comrie
Juno passing Cloch

 
News Logs:
Click HERE to see the other months' fleet news logs


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