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 DATE  NEWS
31/08/06
Western Isles:
Eigg
was performing some sort of Hydraulics test today at Oban Slipway around 0830 this morning. A tape measure was used to measure the full length of the unfolded ramp which was done in three stages. The first stage was lowering the bottom half fully down, the second lowered the upper half to loading position and the final stage saw her back out and extend her ramp under the water as far as it could go, at each stage measuring it.
Canna arrived at Corpach this afternoon. She tied up at the boatyard pier and will be slipped for her overhaul shortly. Raasay is now in service providing cover at Rathlin.

Picture: SoC Crew
Canna approaching Corpach

 
30/08/06 Clyde:
Loch Dunvegan
is suffering with ramp problems currently. Her stern ramp seems to have locked in a position that is parallel to the vessel with the tips at a 40degree angle. She is currently sailing single ended berthing bow in at both terminals swinging about mid channel.
 
29/08/06 Western Isles:
Oban - Lochboisdale - Oban
Saturday 9th September 2006


Customers are advised that 0815 sailing Oban to Lochboisdale and the 1350 Lochboisdale to Oban on Saturday 9th September will operate the following revised schedule due to the forecasted low tidal conditions at Lochboisdale.

1000 ex Oban  arr Lochboisdale 1520.
1540 ex Lochboisdale  arr Oban 2100.
 
28/08/06 Clyde:
Ardrossan - Brodick
Due to circumstances beyond CalMac's control the 1515 sailing from Ardrossan was delayed. Caledonian Isles is due to arrive in Brodick at 1705 and will depart again as soon as possible. As a result the 1640 sailing from Brodick was delayed. Caledonian Isles departed Brodick at 1730  and is due to arrive in Ardrossan at 1825 and will departed again as soon as possible for a return leg.

The reason for the delay was later released by CalMac:
Ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne has confirmed that police were called to an incident at Ardrossan harbour this afternoon which has led to the detention of a number of individuals.
Hugh Dan MacLennan, CalMac's Head of Communications and Customer Care said: "I can confirm that the police were called to investigate the conduct of a number of individuals. This has led to delays in sailings whilst the matter was being investigated. This included searches of various areas on the ship and in the immediate vicinity of the terminal. The police were called soon after the incident took place and the 1515 sailing from Ardrossan to Arran with Caledonian Isles was delayed by 50 minutes approximately, departing eventually at 1610. There was no immediate danger to the ship or to passengers and we would like to thank the customers on board for their understanding and cooperation."
Sailings to and from Ardrossan for the rest of the day are subject to delay while the ongoing police investigation is concluded.

CalMac has confirmed the following timetable for the Ardrossan - Brodick service for the rest of the evening:
1800 ex Ardrossan Saturn arrive Brodick 1900
1940 approx Caledonian Isles will depart Brodick for Ardrossan.
Caledonian Isles is currently (1730) en passage from Brodick to Ardrossan, due to arrive at 1830 approx
 
26/08/06 Western Isles:
Oban - Castlebay / Lochboisdale - timetable change Friday 8th September & Friday 29th September 2006.
Please note the following alteration to Clansman's timetable on Fridays 8th & 29th September 2006 to accommodate livestock traffic from Uist:
dep Castlebay 1850
arr Lochboisdale 2020
dep Lochboisdale 2030
arr Oban 0130
 
25/08/06 Clyde:
COWAL HIGHLAND GATHERING SERVICE - 25 - 27 AUG 2006
Caledonian MacBrayne are pleased to advise customers that additional sailings will be in place on the following dates:
Friday 25th - 1 extra vessel will operate per hour all day. (2 vessels per hour).
Saturday 26th - 2 extra vessels will operate all day subject to customer demand (up to 3 vessels per hr). Last scheduled sailing is 2130 ex Dunoon.
Sunday 27th - regular Sunday service with additional sailings as required.
This will supplement the regular Gourock-Dunoon timetable.
(check external link above for updates)

New Build Update:
Work on the new Largs - Cumbrae vessel (yet to be named) at Ferguson's on the Clyde seems to have been very slow this summer. The reason is believed to be that the vessel is not required until Largs pier rebuild is complete sometime in the spring.

Picture: Stuart Cameron
Newbuild at Ferguson's

 
24/08/06 Clyde:
Just a week after returning to normal drive-through operation, Loch Alainn is out of service once again for nearly six hours today. She will be brought back into service for 1600 but in the meantime, Loch Riddon is expected to undertake solo sailings on the winter timetable.
Saturn left Ardrossan at 1700 after loading crew cars. She is now heading up river to perform her duties in the highland games ferrying passengers on the upper Clyde rosters. She is due to return to her summer Arran station on Monday 28th August.

Picture: Robbie Mathieson
Saturn at Ardrossan

 
23/08/06 Clyde:
Loch Tarbert
missed her 1315 ex Lochranza and 1350 ex Claonaig sailings this afternoon due to mechanical problems, however the timetable resumed with the next round trip.
Saturn was having extreme difficulties with the Irish linkspan at Ardrossan. This was because the linkspan was down on one side, and it was hard for the big vehicles to discharge off her car deck.

Picture: Robbie Mathieson
Saturn at Ardrossan

  Western Isles Terminals:
Capt Tony McQuade, Transport Minister Tavish Scott and CalMac's Chairman along with media and passengers joined Lochnevis today for the opening of the new slipway at Canna. Lochnevis later departed Canna at 1435 with 1 commercial, 2 cars & 70 passengers demonstrating the need for the facilities on the island.
 

Picture: Iain McPhersonPicture: Iain McPhersonPicture: Iain McPherson
Opening ceremony for Canna's new slipway

 
22/08/06 Clyde:
There are changes to Saturn's additional sailings on the Ardrossan - Brodick service.  This service will stop on Thursday 24th August but will recommence on Monday 28th August with the 0715 sailing ex Brodick and will run until the following Monday.  The final sailing will be 0715 ex Brodick on Monday 4th September.  Vehicle bookings are now available for these sailings.
 
21/08/06 Northlink:
Reminder: There are roadwork's currently affecting Aberdeen's Market Street between the Victoria Bridge and Guild Street junctions. Delays may affect vehicle drivers and passengers. Please therefore allow plenty of time to reach the ferry terminal for check in.
Routes Affected:
Aberdeen - Kirkwall - Lerwick
Aberdeen - Lerwick
 
20/08/06 Clyde:
Wemyss Bay - Rothesay
A revised timetable is operating on Saturday 26th August 2006 due to the Cowal Highland Gathering.
 
Depart Rothesay  Depart Wemyss Bay
07 00 08 00
08 45 09 25
10 10 11 00
11 45 13 00
13 45 14 30
15 15 16 00
16 45 17 30
18 15 19 00
19 45 20 40

For further details, please contact CalMac Wemyss Bay office on 01475 520521 or Rothesay office on 01700 502707 or visit the external link above. 

Western Isles:
Clansman
took an extra sailing to Tiree last night for the cattle sales. After arriving at Scarinish around midnight, she lay at the pier for about 4 hours. Lord of the Isles was also seen at Tiree, waiting in Gott Bay for Clansman to vacate the linkspan before loading the remaining wagons and returning to Oban.

 
18/08/06 Western Isles:
Isle of Mull
ventured out to Castlebay tonight with the Outer Isles traffic to allow the Clansman to make for Tiree to assist with Lambing traffic.

Clyde:
Loch Fyne
is the expected relief vessel for the Loch Dunvegan at Bute when she goes for her annual overhaul. It will be the vessels first time on the short roster and another chance meeting for the sister 'Super Lochs'.
 
16/08/06 Clyde:
Loch Alainn
appears to be back to normal now after having her stern ramp repaired earlier on.

It is expected that the Caledonian Isles will use Aberdeen, Greenock or Newcastle for her January 2007 overhaul.
 
14/08/06 Clyde:
Raasay
is now at Corpach receiving attention for her overhaul. She left her berth at Gourock to make the journey North.
 
12/08/06 Four Injured in Ferry Car Crash
The accident happened on the Isle of Skye. Police have confirmed that four people were taken to hospital after a driver crashed into a number of cars which were getting on and off a ferry. Extensive damage was done to four cars when the vehicle went forward into traffic as it left the boat at Armadale Pier, Sleat, on the Isle of Skye. Northern Constabulary said the accident happened at about 1700 BST on Friday. The car, an automatic Kia Sorento, was being driven off the ferry from Mallaig when it collided with a Saab. It then banged into three other vehicles parked in a queue waiting to board the boat. Officers said two people in a car were injured and a woman pedestrian was also hurt. All three were taken to the MacKinnon Memorial Hospital at Broadford on Skye, where they were kept in overnight. A man in a vehicle also involved in the crash was flown to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness as a precaution because he had recently had heart bypass surgery. A spokesman for Northern Constabulary said the injuries did not appear to be as serious as first feared.
 
11/08/06 Clyde:
Loch Alainn
is still suffering with technical problems with her 'stern' ramp. It is unclear exactly what the problem is. She is currently sailing one ended using her bow ramp. Cars are having to board, turn 180degrees at the far end and line up to unload facing the other way. Two lanes are done this way, the others are loaded then turned when the first two are unloaded. Loch Riddon is currently taking any large / long vehicles.

Picture: Robbie Mathieson
Loch Alainn at Largs

 
10/08/06 Clyde:
Loch Alainn
is currently suffering with technical problems with her ramp. It is estimated she will be back in service around 1600 today.

Past Fleet:
Pioneer
, the much followed ex CalMac ferry now renamed Brenda Corlett has hit the news once more.
See our news feature here for more information.

Picture:
Brenda Corlett (ex Pioneer)

 
09/08/06 Northlink:
NorthLink sailings on the Scrabster Stromness route are being affected by adverse weather and tidal conditions. The 1100 Hamnavoe sailing from Stromness and the 1315 sailing from Scrabster have both been cancelled. The 1645 sailing between Stromness and Scrabster has also been set back to 1730 to allow conditions to improve.
 
08/08/06 Northlink:
Less than a month after the handover to Caledonian MacBrayne (operating as NorthLink Ferries Limited) the service from the Scottish mainland to the Northern Isles has experienced its busiest ever month. In July, NorthLink carried more than 46,500 passengers to and from Orkney and Shetland, a figure unsurpassed in the 45 months since NorthLink first assumed control of the routes.
 
03/08/06 Clyde:
Loch Riddon was continuously running late today with traffic. Her route partner Loch Alainn kept catching her up on the Largs - Cumbrae roster so alternative vessels were having to hold off awaiting each other.

Picture: Robbie Mathieson
Two ship service at Largs

 
02/08/06 Western Isles:
A reminder to passengers that the recommended ferry connection for the 0850 First Scotrail train service (until 22 Sept 2006) from Glasgow Queen Street to Oban is the 1400 Oban - Craignure sailing.
 
01/08/06 Clyde:
1545 sailing this afternoon ex Brodick using Saturn has been cancelled due to deteriorating weather conditions.


Three Years of SoC Fleet News...
Yes, back in 2003 we started a small report on fleet news with occasional updates. Now we report almost daily with the latest news from our many correspondents around the west coast. Our number of pictures have been boosted using modern technology. We can now receive 'Live' reports from onboard vessels our correspondents are on via video and media messaging. So look out for further enhancements in the coming year...
 
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