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Weather / A first blast of winter

Serco NorthLink's passenger ferries are again facing weather-related disruption this week. Photo: Ronnie RobertsonThe NorthLink ferry Hjaltland. Photo: Ronnie Robertson

PASSENGERS on the NorthLink ferries got an early taste of autumn last night when the first force nine gale of the season swept across the Northern Isles.

Both passenger ferries had rescheduled their crossings in a bid to avoid the worst of the weather and arrived in Lerwick and Aberdeen ahead of schedule.

The west to northwesterly winds peaked overnight at force nine at Lerwick. Baltasound Met Office recorded gusts up to 70 miles per hour (force 11).

Internal ferry services in Shetland were also affected with some early morning disruptions on the Yell Sound and Bluemull Sound services.

The Whalsay service was suspended on Saturday evening as well as first thing on Sunday morning. The 9.15am service from Symbister was the first scheduled run of the day.

There are also reports of a number of localised power cuts throughout the islands.

Coastguard teams in Yell and Lerwick were called early on Sunday to allow the Coastguard search and rescue helicopter to airlift a female patient from Yell to Tingwall airport from where she was transferred to the Gilbert Bain Hospital.

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