Enroute from Aalesund to Husnes the "Samba" ran onto a shallow between Hovden and Gåsøy in Bremanger on Dec 8, 2014. The lifeboat “Halfdan Grieg” and a tug went to assist the ship which was stuck south of Kalvåg with a crew of 16 on board and had suffered water ingress in the foreship which was quickly under control. The ship was, however, able to pull off with own means and headed to Florø where it berthed at 10.20 p.m. The ship left the Fjord Base in Florø on Dec 11 at 12.50 a.m. again and headed for Rotterdam with an ETA of Dec 13, 4 p.m.
The "Norholm" was due in Scapa Flow on Dec 8 at 8 p.m. after battling more difficult conditions in the Pentland Firth during the afternoon. The "Norholm"’s anchors were dragging on the seabed and the fish carrier was drifting towards the shore at more than half a mile per hour when she was halted by the Kinlochbervie lifeboat half a mile from the shore. The lifeboat battled throughout the night to pull the vessel clear and bring her round the headland to await the emergency tug "Herakles" which then took over the tow. The seven volunteers on board the Kinlochbervie Lifeboat headed home at about 5.30 a.m. morning and battled huge swells before arrive back in port at 7 a.m.
The Thurso lifeboat crew stood by until the Orkney-based tug arrived at Scapa Flow. The workboat "Voe Viking" then took her alongside in Stromness, arriving shortly after midnight.
KiwiRail says chartering the "Stena Alegra" for at least five years makes sense to replace the ageing "Arahura". Under a new name - yet to be decided - it will replace the 31-year-old "Arahura" from the middle of 2015. The ship will be upgraded. Stabilisers will make the ship more stable in rough crossings, new gangway areas will allow passengers to walk on and off and other upgrades will be made to the engine room, navigation and passenger areas.
The upgrade will be carried out by the ship's owners, Rina, at their cost. KiwiRail ruled out buying the "Stena Alegra" after going through what it says was a rigorous process to find an "Arahura" replacement. It will be initially for a five-year term, with a right of renewal at the end of that. KiwiRail had considered having a new rail-capable ship built, but at more than $250m it was too expensive. Upgrading the "Arahura" was also ruled out as it would cost up to $30m and still not meet future freight demand. Three other ferries were also looked at. KiwiRail does not yet know if it will sell the "Arahura" to another operator or whether it will go for scrap