PASSENGERS boarding the NorthLink ferry Hjaltland in Lerwick, Kirkwall and Aberdeen are being issued a warning letter about a sickness bug on board the vessel.
Over the Christmas and New Year festive period about 16 crew members have come down with “a sickness and diarrhoea type bug”, confining them to their cabin for around 24 hours until its effects have worn off.
The environmental health authorities were immediately notified when the outbreak first appeared, but said it was not necessary to cancel any sailings.
However since 28 December NorthLink has been issuing passengers with a warning letter offering them a full fare refund or an alternative sailing.
The spokesman said that hundreds of passengers had travelled since the outbreak and no one had declined to travel.
“It became clear that the bug wasn’t ‘festivities related’,” the spokesman said on Wednesday.
“Throughout this period the entire boat, while berthed has been clinically ‘deep cleaned’ as per advice of health authorities.
“We’ve had one more crew member become ill over the last 36 hours so the bug hasn’t completely gone yet and the letters will continue to be issued until we’re satisfied that it has gone completely.”
The company apologised for any inconvenience caused to passengers.
Become a supporter of Shetland News
Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.
Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.
Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has over 440 supporters who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.
Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -
- Bring you the headlines as they happen;
- Stay editorially independent;
- Give a voice to the community;
- Grow site traffic further;
- Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.
If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.
Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.Support Shetland News