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Council / Faulty gearbox shaft led to Yell ferry break down

The Dunter taking the Daggri into Toft on Wednesday morning. Photo: Shetland News

DISRUPTION on the Yell Sound ferry service is set to continue until a faulty sheared gearbox shaft on the Daggri can either be repaired or spare parts be sourced from the supplier.

The vessel developed a fault after departing Ulsta on Wednesday morning and had to be towed to Toft by the Sullom Voe tug Dunter, reducing the service to a single vessel.

Shetland Islands Council confirmed late on Thursday that there had been no danger to passengers and the vessel at any time.

Ferry operations manager Andrew Inkster said it was not known yet when the ferry will be able to return to service.

“The vessel has been taken out of service and replacement parts are being sourced, although the time to effect repairs is uncertain,” he said.

“Once the master became aware of difficulties with the forward propulsion unit, he was still able to control the vessel with the rear unit.

“However, with restricted manoeuvrability, a tug from Sullom Voe assisted with bringing the vessel alongside the ferry terminal at Toft. Seven passengers on board were then disembarked, and divers and engineers were able to investigate.”

He added: “The master confirmed that he assessed there was no danger to vessel, crew or passengers at any time.”

A report is being prepared for the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB).

Meanwhile, ferry services on the Bluemull Sound service, which connects Unst and Fetlar to Yell, has reduced to a single vessel service this week due to crew sickness.

On Tuesday the SIC asked passengers to consider whether their journey was essential – leading to one local councillor calling it a “dark day” for the North Isles.