NorthLink’s new cargo boat completes her first trip from Aberdeen to Lerwick

NorthLink’s new freight vessel Helliar, which was due in Lerwick for the first time last week, eventually made it to Shetland on Tuesday.

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The 122-metre vessel had her maiden voyage scuppered by engine problems and bad weather, when, after leaving Aberdeen last Wednesday evening and getting as far as Orkney, she eventually had to return to Aberdeen.

The Helliar entered NorthLink’s service last week after having modifications carried out at the Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead. She arrived in Aberdeen last Wednesday morning but experienced a turbo-charger failure on one of her two engines en route from Aberdeen to Lerwick.

The decision was taken to proceed at reduced speed on a single engine but progress in heavy seas was slower than expected and the next morning Helliar encountered further adverse weather conditions off Orkney, where she sought temporary shelter. As continuing poor weather conditions were forecast, it was decided she would return to Aberdeen, to be met by engineers.

The turbo-charger bearing was duly fixed in Aberdeen and the Helliar”s maiden voyage to Lerwick re-scheduled to start at 6pm on Monday. However, the repairs took longer than envisaged and she eventually left Aberdeen at 9pm, making her long-awaited first visit to Lerwick at 10am on Tuesday.

The vessel, which is chartered with crew, is due to operate four days a week, alternating with her sister ship Hildasay, and calling at Kirkwall once a week.


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