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Hebrides News


Emergency ferry sailing for Barra

31 December 2016

Urgent food supplies are being shipped to Barra on a special ferry sailing.


Stocks of fresh produce are extremely low in the Co-op in Castlebay, the main food store on the island.


Milk has completely run out as has fruit and vegetables in the shop while very little chilled food is left.


Ferry cancellations due to storms plus the public holidays over the festive period has prevent all but one delivery getting through this week.


A severe gale stopped the ferry operating again while the last ship of the year was scheduled to arrive too late to replenish the shelves.


Now the crew of the MV Isle of Lewis will set off for Oban during a lull in the weather on New Year’s Eve.


High winds and rough seas are forecast to subside at 6am so the vessel will head off then.


With a high swell running the voyage may be bumpy but the ferry should dock back in Castlebay by teatime before the next spell of bad weather hits.


A Cal Mac notice said: “This service has been brought forward to allow a replenishment of stock to reach Barra shops in time for the two days' bank holidays for New Year and January 2, allowing islanders to stock up on last minute items.


“Bringing the service forward, has provided additional time for the goods to arrive at the store and for customers to get their hands on supplies, including fresh produce, for the holiday weekend.”


Staff at the Castlebay Co-op will speedily unload the lorry while the shop is open until 10pm to give locals a chance to buy their New Year provisions.