Cancellations after ferry hit by “abnormally large wave”

Ferry sailings from Aberdeen on Tuesday night and Lerwick on Wednesday night have been cancelled after the Hjaltland was hit and damaged by an “abnormally large wave”.

The vessel is currently undergoing repairs in Aberdeen following the incident, which happened around 40 minutes after she left Lerwick on Monday night. There was damage to the foc’sle and the window wipers on the bridge.

A spokesman for NorthLink said the company was in the process of contacting the 67 passengers due to sail from Aberdeen on Tuesday.

Similarly, the eight passengers due to travel from Lerwick and 69 from Kirkwall to Aberdeen on Wednesday were being informed.

The repairs are expected to be completed at some point on Wednesday morning.

NorthLink chief executive Bill Davidson said: “The incident occurred at about 19.40. Hjaltland was sailing easily at 13 knots in a 5-6 metre swell with the wind blowing 55 knots out of the sout-west when the watchkeeper describes the ship being hit by a single very large wave.

“The vessel continued at reduced speed until clear of bad weather and arrived in Aberdeen some two and a half hours late. No-one was injured as a result of the incident. Indeed, most passengers were unaware that anything untoward had happened.

“The cancellations are due to the necessity to carry out repairs but we are able to offer passengers on board accommodation in Aberdeen tonight. Nevertheless, I would take this opportunity to say that we do regret the inconvenience caused. Passengers affected are being contacted by our staff now.”


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