CalMac’s upper Clyde relief ship - and Rothesay’s winter back-up ferry - MV Coruisk was taken out of service on Tuesday morning after colliding with Dunoon pier in thick fog.
The vessel, which is being used to provide extra peak-hour passenger sailings in support of the two small ferries normally used on Argyll Ferries’ Gourock-Dunoon route, sailed empty to Greenock after the collision and is now awaiting repair.
No-one was injured in the incident.
Launched in 2003, the Coruisk was specifically built to serve the secondary route to Skye, between Mallaig and Armadale, in summer and to operate on the upper Clyde in winter, though in recent years her winter use has been limited to providing cover for overhauls and breakdowns on the Rothesay-Wemyss Bay service.
Her most recent spell on the main Bute route was in mid-January, when she stood in while a clutch problem on MV Bute was repaired.
Deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon announced last September that the Coruisk would be used to bolster winter passenger-only services on the Dunoon run, and would remain on standby at other times, following protests from the Dunoon-Gourock Ferry Action Group (DGFAG) over the performance of the route’s resident vessels, MV Argyll Flyer and MV Ali Cat.