Following the report of a technical fault on the forward ramp system onboard MV FINLAGGAN last week (14 June), the vessel's crew and subcontractors addressed the problem and were able to close the ramp and bow door, allowing the ship to sail using the stern ramp only. The vessel continued to operate in this way while further investigations took place to determine the cause of the fault. Equipment suppliers Cargotec have now concluded that the problem was caused by contaminated oil in the hydraulic system, which powers the bow door, bow ramp, stern ramp and mezzanine deck.
To address this issue, works will be required on the hydraulic cylinders and hydraulic pumps. The hydraulic pipework will also require flushing and a new charge of oil supplied. The MV FINLAGGAN will sail today (20 June) for Cammell Laird in Birkenhead. A full assessment of the MV FINLAGGAN will be carried out on arrival to determine which repairs are necessary and how long they are likely to take. Progress on the works will be available through the CMAL website (www.cmassets.co.uk).
The safety of passengers is of paramount importance and CMAL is working closely with the shipyard, subcontractors and the operator to ensure that this problem is resolved and that repairs to the vessel are completed as quickly as possible, to ensure minimal disruption to the Islay service. In the meantime, CalMac Ferries Ltd has notified CMAL that the MV Isle of Arran will service the route. CMAL apologise for any inconvenience caused to passengers. The Scotsman has an article about the MV Finlaggan problems titled Islanders fear for economy as faulty ferry causes disruptions and anger
Image courtesy James Deane