The Yell Sound ferry service was down to a single vessel today due to a faulty outboard on one of the ferry’s rescue boats.
Ferry managers said they had been aware of the problems with the rescue boats’ outboards for some time and the decision was taken to replace the old units with four stroke instead of two stroke engines.
Each rescue boat has two outboards but it had been hoped to get them both changed yesterday. However only one was finished and the fact that the second outboard was not in place meant the ferry could not operate.
By the afternoon the replacement was still not complete and ferry manager Colin Manson said: “The rescue boat is not operating and we can’t run the ferry.”
Haulier Steven Henderson said the disruption, which had come after weather-related delays last week, had caused “significant problems” for his company.
He had been trying to get trucks full of perishable salmon and mussels to Lerwick for shipment south, and the reduced ferry service was “most inconvenient”, especially with a gap of more than an hour over lunchtime. “It added more than an hour to each driver’s day,” he said.