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The new Lismore ferry is expected to arrive at Port Appin this month and be ready to serve the community once the Passenger Safety Certificate is issued by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
After its sea trials and final checks, the vessel was due to leave Pembroke on December 13 to begin its 302 nautical mile journey to Port Appin.
However, due to poor weather conditions, the departure was rescheduled, and will wait for a fair weather window. Until then, the current ferry will remain in operation keeping the service between Lismore and Port Appin running as normal.
Members of Argyll & Bute’s Council’s Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee welcomed the news and endorsed the ferry’s name, the Lady of Lismore.
Local residents and primary school pupils chose the ferry’s name through a poll organised by Lismore Community Council.
A community event will be held to celebrate the arrival of the new ferry in early January.
Councillor Rory Colville, Policy Lead for Roads and Infrastructure Services, said: ‘We wish the Lady of Lismore a safe passage to Port Appin and we await her arrival with great excitement.
‘The old ferry sailed the route for more than three decades and we look forward to the new ferry future-proofing this life-line service for decades to come.’
The new all-steel vessel, designed by Keel Marine and built by Mainstay Marine Solutions, will have a crew of two and can accommodate 23 passengers all year round with a cruising speed of eight knots.
The new ferry is designed and built to current exacting specifications defined by Maritime and Coastguard Agency. These specifications take account of passenger safety and accessibility requirements. Funding was made available by Transport Scotland.