The catamaran ferry Runö, which links the island of Ruhnu with the Estonian mainland, is to return to normal service tomorrow as scheduled, Friday, at 18.00 EEST, following an engine replacement, according to Minister of Public Administration Janek Mäggi (Centre) said at a press conference.
Mr. Mäggi stated that the problem which affected the Runö's main engine was quite complex and that it had also experienced problems prior to the latest incident. In 2017, for instance, the ferry was out of service for two days.
As reported by ERR, the Runö had been berthed at Pärnu harbour since 23 June in order for work on replacing its engine to be carried out.
According to Mr. Mäggi, also other options besides replacing the vessel's main engine were discussed but none of them were found to be suitable.
The faulty engine itself is to be overhauled and retained as a backup for any future contingencies, according to Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Kadri Simson (Centre).
The Runö was built by the Saaremaa-based boatbuilder Baltic Workboats AS for a reported €3.2 million (exclusive of VAT) in 2012.
The Runö had temporarily been replaced by another ferry, the Amalie, to maintain links to Ruhnu, an island of just under 12 sq km and with a reported population of 55 as at 2011. It lies in the Gulf of Riga and is actually closer to the Latvian mainland, than to that of Estonia.
Prior to World War Two it was home to a community of ethnic Swedish speakers, and also boasts its own breed of sheep, the Estonian Ruhnu.
Editor: Andrew Whyte