Bute ferries resume after recovery of unexploded mine

Peel Ports' map of the exclusion zone in the Firth of Clyde caused by the removal of an unexploded mine from the sea bed off Gourock.
Peel Ports' map of the exclusion zone in the Firth of Clyde caused by the removal of an unexploded mine from the sea bed off Gourock.

Ferry services between Rothesay and Gourock are returning to normal after part of the Firth of Clyde was closed for the recovery of an unexploded mine.

Caledonian MacBrayne’s 1130 and 1325 sailings from Rothesay, and the 1200 and 1315 from Gourock, were cancelled on Thursday to allow Ministry of Defence divers to recover the device, which was found on the seabed on Sunday at a location near Gourock’s open-air pool.

After its recovery the mine was taken to deeper waters between Gourock and the Rosneath peninsula to be detonated.

Ferry services on the principal Bute route resumed with the 2.50pm departures from both Rothesay and Gourock.

Western Ferries’ Clyde crossings were unaffected by the 1,000-metre exclusion zone set up around the mine’s location, meaning drivers were still able to travel to and from Bute via Western and the short CalMac crossing between Colintraive and Rhubodach, using the joint ticketing arrangement set up between the two companies.

Gourock residents and businesses within 200 metres of the mine’s location were evacuated between 8am and 2pm.