Four passengers on board the Hrossey suffered minor injuries in the early hours of Thursday morning when she rolled heavily due to the bad weather on the Aberdeen to Lerwick sailing.
In heavier than forecast south-easterly gales off Fair Isle, the ferry encountered very heavy seas and a sudden lurch to port threw one person from their bunk, another from their seat in the bar and a couple from a sofa where they were asleep.
Additionally, a number of cars were slightly damaged and a plate glass panel was broken by a sofa. The incident happened at around 4.30am. Hrossey berthed in Lerwick without further incident at 7.10am.
The weather also delayed Wednesday night’s southbound sailing from Shetland to Aberdeen by Hjaltland. The vessel arrived in Aberdeen around seven hours late just after lunchtime on Thursday. NorthLink said she would make the return journey from Aberdeen to Kirkwall and Lerwick on Thursday night.
Due to forecast force nine gales and a very large swell, the scheduled southbound sailing of Hrossey on Thursday night from Lerwick to Aberdeen via Kirkwall was cancelled. The next scheduled departure from Lerwick to Kirkwall and Aberdeen will be at 5.30pm on Friday.
A spokesman for NorthLink said: “We’re entering that time of year when poor weather will invariably disrupt sailing schedules, something which is beyond our control.
“We are always guided by what is best for the safety and comfort of our passengers. Sometimes the weather is worse than forecast and this is what happened off Fair Isle.
“Four passengers sustained minor injuries when the vessel lurched unexpectedly during a particularly heavy roll – one who who sitting in the bar, one who was asleep in a bunk and a couple who were asleep on a sofa. So far as I am aware at the moment, hospitalisation was not required.”