New disabled toilets to be installed on Hamnavoe ferry
NEW Changing Place toilets – for people with profound learning disabilities or physical disabilities – are to be installed on the MV Hamnavoe while it is in dry dock this month.
NorthLink says it is delighted to be the first ferry operator to have these toilets installed on all passenger vessels.
The Hamnavoe, which sails between Scrabster and Stromness, was set to go into dry dock at the beginning of the week and is not scheduled to be back in service until January 26. During this time a replacement service will be provided by the MV Helliar on the Pentland Firth route.
A NorthLink spokesperson said: "These fully accessible facilities have an adult-sized, height-adjustable changing bench, a hoist and a centrally placed toilet.
"NorthLink has worked closely with the Scottish charity PAMIS [Promoting a more inclusive society] to ensure these are to specification and we are delighted to be the first ferry operator to have these toilets on all passenger vessels.
"The availability of an external power supply, a shore supply, will be utilised to complete the final vessel commissioning of the on-board modifications to the vessels electrical switchboard to accept shore power."
Various mechanical works will be also be undertaken including major services on the port main engine, starboard main engine and the port gearbox.
All works are planned maintenance tasks complying with the manufacturer's recommended service schedules and overseen by the manufacturer's approved service engineers.
In addition, dry dock maintenance will be completed on propellers, shaft lines and stabilisers, along with statutory out of water surveys and inspections by the Classification Society and Flag Administration.
The spokesperson added: "The scheduled dry dock period has been designed to minimise disruption to customers and takes place during the quietest time of year for both passenger and freight shipments."
Meanwhile, a number of Pentland Firth sailings were cancelled this week due to adverse weather.
On Monday the 4.30pm sailing from Stromness to Scrabster and the 7pm sailing from Scrabster to Stromness were cancelled.
So too were Tuesday's 6.15am sailing from Stromness to Scrabster and the 8.45am sailing from Scrabster to Stromness.