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Met Office upgrades weather warning

FERRY operator NorthLink has re-scheduled its passenger ferries in preparation of storms forecast to hit the north of Scotland on Tuesday.

The Met Office has meanwhile upgraded its weather warning to Amber saying that gusts of up to 90 mph could affect the northern isles later on Christmas Eve.

 Monday night’s southbound sailing of the Hjaltland has left Lerwick at 12.00midday, five and a half hours ahead of schedule.

The ferry will arrive in Kirkwall at 5pm and continue her journey to Aberdeen an hour later where she is due to arrive in the early hours of Christmas Eve. Disembarkation will remain at 7am, as normal.

 The Hrossey, the last ferry north before Christmas, will leave Aberdeen at 7pm on Monday, as scheduled.

NorthLink has also warned the travelling public to expect cancellations on the Pentland Firth route for Tuesday.

A spokeswoman said: “We would urge all passengers wishing to cross the Pentland Firth ahead of Christmas day to travel tomorrow, Monday 23 December, to avoid the possibility of cancelled sailings on Tuesday.

“Whilst we appreciate that these disruptions may cause passengers inconvenience at this time of year we make these decisions with the safety of our passengers and crew in mind and we want to make sure that everyone gets home safely for Christmas.”

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