MV Loch Seaforth Supports New Year’s Day Iolaire Service

Caledonian MacBrayne is pleased to confirm that the MV Loch Seaforth will participate in the New Year’s Day Service to commemorate the centenary of the Iolaire tragedy.

At midday on New Year’s Day, a special Iolaire Memorial Service will take place at the Iolaire memorial at Holm. Due to the logistics and space constraints, there will be a limited number of people allowed down to the site for the service. CalMac is pleased to confirm that the MV Loch Seaforth will sail out into the bay at 11:15am on 1st January to coincide with the service beginning at noon. 201 pupils from across the islands will throw flowers into the sea to represent the 201 men who were tragically lost on the Iolaire. The service on board will be led by Rev James Maciver of the Stornoway Free Church.

There is space on board for an additional 250 members of the public on a first come first serve basis. To secure tickets for the service on the MV Loch Seaforth, the CalMac Ticket Office will be allocating tickets on a first come first serve basis strictly between 9am-11am and 3pm-5pm from Monday 3rd December until Friday 7th December 2018. There will also be a maximum of 2 tickets per household. Due to the safety restrictions at Holm, there will be a number of tickets reserved for the service on board the MV Loch Seaforth for those with accessibility requirements.

Managing Director of CalMac Ferries Ltd, Robbie Drummond said:

"There were many seafarers who lost their lives in this incident who had close ties with the company. Current Master of the MV Loch Seaforth, John Gilles himself had a relative who drowned, so it is fitting that a Caledonian MacBrayne vessel is playing such an important role in this 100 year commemoration service for those who perished."

Norman A MacDonald, Chairman of the Iolaire Working Group, said: "We are grateful to CalMac for all their support with the commemoration events and for making the MV Loch Seaforth available for this special commemoration service on 1st January 2019. The Safety Advisory Group has indicated that there will be a need to keep the Iolaire path at Holm clear for the service onshore to allow access for the emergency services. Therefore, the advice is for those with accessibility requirements to join the service on board the MV Loch Seaforth.

We would remind the public that there will be a limited number allowed at both the service at the Iolaire memorial and on board the MV Loch Seaforth."

PLEASE NOTE: The service on the MV Loch Seaforth will be subject to weather conditions and cancellation at short notice.