Isle of Arran Ferry Collides with Kennacraig Pier

On Saturday 6th February the MV 'Isle of Arran' was engaged on the 07.00 sailing from Port Askaig to the mainland and approaching Kennacraig on schedule with a light load of cars and commercial vehicles but with only 14 passengers plus a full complement of crew. As she approached the pier at Kennacraig she was unable to engage reverse thrust on her variable pitch propeller which meant that she was unable to slow down sufficiently to avoid a collision with the pier structures. A CalMac spokesman later told the Ileach that a mechanical failure of the control mechanism engaging reverse thrust was suspected, but the exact cause would only be confirmed after a full investigation. The ship initially struck a glancing blow off the substantial rubber fenders on the pier and there is speculation that this may have been a deliberate act on behalf of the crew to reduce speed. It is understood that the crew did everything possible to take way off, including dropping anchors. The bow section of the ship did however ground against a concrete section on the port side of the linkspan and she was unfortunately holed above the waterline on her starboard bow by one of the support arms of the linkspan. Continue reading....

The force of the collision damaged the linkspan and caused the vessel to list temporarily. This in turn distorted the passenger walkway. No-one was injured in the incident. The ship was winched off by the crew under her own power, before returning to dock stern first allowing vehicles and passengers to disembark. The “Isle of Arran” was scheduled to be going into dry-dock in Gourock for her annual service on Tuesday 9th February so, while some sailings had to be cancelled in the immediate aftermath of the incident, CalMac had already timetabled arrangements for her imminent departure. It will not be known whether further alterations to the timetable will be necessary until a full assessment of the damage is made.

This story was published with kind permission of the Ileach local newspaper. The image has been supplied by a friend from Mark Unsworth

Tag: ferry crash isle of arran kennacraig travel