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Arrow replaces Helliar

FERRY operator NorthLink has chartered a replacement cargo vessel to stand in while the company’s freight ship Helliar is in dry dock in Gothenburg for urgent repairs.

The 122 metre freighter sustained damage to her propeller stern tube when a rope fouled her propeller while sailing from Aberdeen to Kirkwall on Saturday night.

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The vessel limbed into Lerwick harbour on Sunday evening, 12 hours after schedule.

Following further inspections, NorthLink said on Tuesday that the damage could not be repaired in Shetland.

The Helliar will leave for the 40 hour journey to Gothenburg on Wednesday, while the replacement vessel Arrow, currently operating in the Irish Sea, will head for Shetland to enter the service on Friday.

The Arrow, one of Helliar’s sister ships, is operated by Seatruck Ferries.

NorthLink managing director Bill Davidson said: “We had been keeping our fingers crossed that the follow-up inspection by divers would have shown that the damage caused by the rope could have been fixed in Lerwick but that’s proved not to be the case. She has to go to dry-dock so that the stern tube can be properly repaired.

“We’re conscious that, during our scheduled statutory dry dock period with Hjaltland away for her dry dock survey, that this could not have happened at a worse time.

“We’ve been working with customers to ensure that priority cargoes on Hrossey and Hildasay have been taking precedence over non-essential items and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their understanding.”

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