Ferry fiasco as second ‘foreign’ ferry runs aground

From BBC Scotland this morning:

Orkney ferry runs aground after smoke in engine room

A ferry has run aground in Orkney with 60 people on board, including a baby.

Smoke was detected in the engine room of the MV Pentalina before it became grounded near the village of St Margaret’s Hope.

Emergency services are at the scene as well as lifeboats from the RNLI.

Ferry company Pentland Ferries said all 56 adults, three children and an infant on board were safe. “The safety of our passengers is, of course, our first priority,” it added.

Pentland Ferries sails across the Pentland Firth from Gills Bay in Caithness to St Margaret’s Hope on the Orkney Islands.

The Pentalina came back into service earlier this week after time in dry dock to allow another ferry, the MV Alfred, to service other routes to islands on Scotland’s west coast.

The MV Alfred itself ran aground in the Pentland Firth in Swona in July last year, with 97 people on board who were transferred to lifeboats.


At the end, BBC Scotland give us:

Scottish Transport Minister Kevin Stewart tweeted that he was “sorry” to hear of the incident, but that “all on board are safe and well and that emergency services are in attendance”.

That makes a wee connection with the ongoing SNP ferry fiasco comedy series running across all of Scotland’s media, doesn’t it?

BBC Scotland spokesperson – ‘We NEVER said it was ordered by the SNP or built in Scotland!!’

Just out of interest, where were these crash-prone privately owned ferries built?

MV Pentalina was built in Cebu, Philippines, starting in February 2007. She was ready to launch in April 2008, although there were delays in installing equipment. The 10,000 miles (16,000 km) journey from the Philippines to Scotland was delayed by bad weather, forcing a short detour to Salalah, Oman. She arrived in St Margaret’s Hope on 9 December 2008.


MV alfred: The vessel was built by Strategic Marine Vietnam (Vũng Tàu). Initially due to enter service in summer 2018, the vessel, named MV Alfred, arrived in St Margaret’s Hope on 9 October 2019, and entered service on 1 November 2019.


Cheap labour?

9 thoughts on “Ferry fiasco as second ‘foreign’ ferry runs aground

  1. Ah but, you do realise that the Pentalina was put back into service to free up the Alfred for the CMAL lease as a reserve vessel…

    That’s why it’s the HMS James Cook top story, and under it the link to the “Chartered CalMac catamaran to begin sea trials” and two other linked articles…

    It’s only a matter of time before a Tory or Labour talking head blames it all on SNP as an extension to the “ferry stories” saga…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Everyone here should read the article about Scottish ferries and a proposed solution posted on the Grousebeater blog recently.

      As well as explaining why catamarans would be suitable on many Scottish routes as they are safer in heavy seas, more manouvreable and cheaper to buy and run, it shows that the passengers were easily and safely disembarked by RNLI boats from the Pentalina, while a recent grounding of a monohull Calmac ferry left it on its side and the passengers had to be rescued by helicopter. the boat was subsequently scrapped because of the damage to the hull. the pictures of both incidents show the difference.
      Can anyone here explain why the Scottish government has repeatadly refused to consider the idea of building and deploying catamarans in Scotland?
      (Apart from the fact that it is not their idea!)


      1. So far as I’m aware it’s CMAL decision rather than SG.
        Ostensibly ‘traditional’ mono-hulls can sail in heavier swell conditions than twin hulls, that’s all I’ve read on it.


  2. Privately owned ferries around Orkney and Shetland because the ports there unlike elsewhere in Scotland were not sold off to overseas companies and of course there are many English people living in Orkney and Shetland trying to make it a little England .

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Obviously, as the BEEB knows, the fault of the “Nats”, just as they are planning to “steal” the Stone of Destiny from Auld Engurland, according to G.Gen Hi Jack who is “guarding” it from his London club.
    Because of this he could not make it to the Tory suck-up fest in Scotland, but it wont affect his election chances as he is a cert for the Ermine seat reserved for Boris cronies and cultists.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Here in Scotland we deal with real ferries,not the non existent ones the Tories tried to russell up during the Brexit fiasco.
    How much did that cost tax payers?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I see that there’s been a military op going on around Scotland’s coast, fear of Russian ships or something. Scotland, another English military base. Might they use this sort of thing to put fear of god into folks and to militarise Scotland, it would be very convenient.


    1. Worth pointing out that the article states that all passengers were safely disembarked by lifeboat. Wheras a recent grounfing by a monohull CalMac ferry which ended up on its side, meant the passengers had to be lifted off by helicopter!
      the hull of the ship also suffered damage and it had to be scrapped. Catamarans perform much better in such conditions as well as being cheaper to build and run as they are faster and more fuel efficient.


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