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Transport / NorthLink freight ferry taken into dry dock for repairs

The cargo vessel Helliar arriving at Lerwick harbour - Photo: Valian

THE NORTHLINK ferry service has been running with only one freight vessel after the Helliar was taken into dry dock for repairs.

She is only due back in service at the end of the month.

This has had a knock-on effect to some businesses, including the Tesco supermarket which has signs up on its doors warning customers about lower stock availability than usual.

It comes after NorthLink’s two passenger vessels each were delayed in returning from scheduled dry dock earlier this year due to unforeseen problems, leading to some cancellations.

The Helliar was taken into dry dock near Newcastle on Thursday last week.

She is said to have picked up some fishing gear last year whilst heading to Lerwick.

It is understood the consequences of that fouling was impacting on vessel manoeuvrability, so she was taken to dry dock to fix it before the height of the season.

NorthLink has two dedicated freight vessels serving the Northern Isles – the Helliar and the Hildasay – while some cargo can be taken on the passenger vessels too.

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