FOLLOWING news that the scrapping - or, rather, the recycling - of the former Rothesay ferry MV Juno had begun at Rosneath in the Gare Loch, Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd has announced that the vessel’s older sister, MV Jupiter, is to face a similar fate.
The Jupiter, the oldest of the three ‘streakers’ built for Caledonian MacBrayne in the 1970s, has been laid up in ‘hot standby’ mode at Rosneath since last October.
Though built for the Gourock-Dunoon route, from the mid-1980s the Jupiter was used interchangeably with the Juno and her younger sister, MV Saturn, on the Dunoon and Rothesay services, until the ‘streakers’ were replaced by MVs Bute and Argyle in 2005 and 2007 respectively.
She is to be dismantled under the terms of the UK Ship Recycling Strategy, an initiative of the Department for the Enviromnent, Food and Rural Affairs.
Meanwhile, CMAL has confirmed that £2 million is to be spent on remedial works to ensure the vehicle linkspan at Gourock Pier can continue to be used as a ‘port of refuge’ for the Rothesay and Arran ferry services.
No regular services will use the linkspan after June 30, when the Gourock-Dunoon ferry link becomes a passenger-only service.
But a spokesperson for Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) told The Buteman the facilities at Gourock will be maintained “to allow full operational use to continue if required”.
The spokesperson said: “The linkspan will be retained, and CMAL will shortly undertake £2m worth of remedial works at Gourock to ensure that it remains fit for purpose and can continue to be used as a diversion port in the event of poor weather.”