NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Shetland call made for Aberdeen harbour improvements

Hjaltland
Image caption The Hjaltland could not get into Aberdeen in extreme weather conditions

The operators of Aberdeen Harbour should dredge the entrance and consider a better breakwater to help ships in bad weather, it has been claimed.

The call was made after the NorthLink ferry Hjaltland, from Shetland, was unable to dock due to the conditions.

Vice chairman of Shetland Islands Council's development committee, Alastair Cooper, said the operators of the port should do more.

In a statement, Aberdeen Harbour blamed extreme weather conditions.

Hjaltland, which was stranded off the north east coast of Scotland with 87 passengers in "atrocious" high seas, was diverted to Fife and docked 18 hours late.

The ferry was supposed to dock in Aberdeen at 0700 GMT on Monday after travelling overnight from Shetland.

Two attempts were made to get the boat into the harbour at Aberdeen but on both occasions it was deemed unsafe to continue.

It finally arrived in Rosyth at about 0124 GMT on Tuesday after a decision to take the ferry 100 miles south.

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