Fouled propeller disrupts Rothesay ferries

A rope wrapped around a propeller caused disruption to Caledonian MacBrayne’s Rothesay-Wemyss Bay ferry service on Tuesday morning.

The fouled propeller on MV Bute happened on Monday evening as the vessel was being tied up at the end of the day’s service - but the time required to assemble a diving team, and the safety of diving at night, meant CalMac knew later that night that Tuesday morning’s timetable would be hit.

Customers signed up to the company’s SMS service status facility were alerted to the problem at around 10pm on Monday; the 0700 and 0845 departures from Rothesay on Tuesday were cancelled as a result, along with the 0800 and 0925 sailings from Wemyss Bay.

The dive team - comprising Alistair Baird and Tom Brannan, who are now based in Dunoon but who founded the Shearwater Marine diving company in Rothesay some years ago, plus local residents Neil and Lewis MacMillan - went to work on the problem on Tuesday morning, and the normal timetable resumed with the vessel’s 1010 departure from Rothesay.

Meanwhile, island residents using ScotRail services to travel to and from the ferry terminal at Wemyss Bay had their journeys disrupted on Monday after a signalling problem in the Paisley area affected trains on the Inverclyde lines.

The problem arose towards the end of the morning rush hour; normal services did not resume until early afternoon.