Islay Ferry Almost Grounded in Port Ellen

I was in Port Ellen this morning when the noon ferry arrived, or at least it tried. The Hebridean Isles attempted to berth in Port Ellen but failed. As the winds were rather strong the ferry was unable to berth and had to manoeuvre away from the pier. What then happened was a bit weird. As the ferry tried to sail back from the pier into the bay it was probably pushed sidewards towards The Ard due to strong winds and I could clearly see, and others with me, it being grounded with the front of the ship being stuck in the sand. The captain then tried to reverse but it actually took several minutes with the props in full reverse, and a push from the bow thruster, before she managed to free herself from her precarious position. She then took off to Port Askaig and so were all the cars and passengers who were waiting in Port Ellen for the ferry to arrive.

Update: Calmac explained why they made this manoeuvre

The Hebridean Isles dangerously close to the shore

The Hebridean Isles reversing back

Tag: calmac ferry travel