Complete NTM 34/23

Latitude: 55º 37.621’N Longitude: 006º 11.418’W
WGS 84 Datum WGS 84 Datum


Mariners are advised that from week commencing 28 August 2023, ground investigation works (boreholes) will commence on the waters around Port Ellen Ferry Terminal Pier, Loch Leodamais, Isle of Islay.

The work will involve drilling a multitude of boreholes and taking seabed samples.

Drilling works will be undertaken from a jack-up barge Red 7 and is expected to be completed within 10 to 12 weeks. The barge is not self-propelled so when required, will be manoeuvred under tow by the workboat Challenger of Leith.

The positions of the boreholes are within the areas marked 1, 2 and 3 on the following chartlet and while there is a scheduled drilling plan, this may be subject to change so please contact the port on 01496 730 172 (Press Option 2) for the prevailing situation report.


As the barge is undertaking its work or while being moved to a different borehole location there will be times when, for navigational safety one or more of the pier and commercial quayside berths will be closed to all vessels or restrictions may be imposed on other vessel traffic transiting the channel to the inner harbour or pontoons.

Such restrictions will be temporary and short-term and controlled by local CalMac Ferries Ltd port staff. There is not expected to be any impact on the availability of fishing boat or pontoon berths.

Communication will be maintained between CalMac port office and harbour users as required via VHF radio 12 and 16 throughout the day while ground investigation works are ongoing. The workboat Challenger of Leith will also be monitoring these VHF channels.

During this time all vessels navigating in the vicinity of Port Ellen Ferry Terminal pier and the Harbour Association pontoons within Loch Leodamais are requested to maintain a lookout for the jack-up barge and pass at a safe distance and speed to minimise the effects of wash on the barge and accompanying workboat.

If uncertain how to pass the barge safely please contact the port office or workboat via VHF channel 12 or 16 as soon as possible.

Further details can be obtained using the contact details below.


Issued on behalf of the Harbour Master

Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited


Categories: Notice to Mariners