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Ferry passengers intending to travel between Lochboisdale and Mallaig next week (w/c January 23) are being advised that the service is being suspended for a short period due to essential maintenance on MV Lord of the Isles.

The vessel will depart from Lochboisdale on schedule for Oban at 0600hrs on Monday, January 23 then sail on from Oban to dry dock in Greenock for unscheduled repairs which have arisen following the discovery of a thinning section of steelwork during routine inspections by  the ship's engineers.

Additional early morning and late evening services are being put in place on the Sound of Barra while the repair work is carried out - potentially for more than a week - to allow a connection with the sailing from Castlebay to Oban.

Robert Kelso, CalMac's Fleet Technical Manager, said "The ship's steelwork is formally inspected to a 5-yearly fixed schedule under MCA rules and wasn't due to be looked at again until the end of this year.   However, due to the severe weather conditions in which our ships operate, the onboard engineers do routine inspections in-between the formal one, and the latest of these just before Christmas found a small section which needed repair.

"We were keen to avoid taking the ship out of the water during the busy Christmas holiday period so agreed with the MCA that the work could be deferred until early in the New Year .

"We cannot say how long the repairs will take until the work has been formally assessed and scoped but we will do everything we can to get her back into service as soon as possible. In the meantime, we apologise for any inconvenience caused."

Details of the additional sailings on the Ardmhor-Eriskay route can be found at

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