Reports have emerged suggesting the Royal Air Force could be called in to airlift supplies to Orkney.

Lauren Taylor, writing for The Press and Journal, highlighted concerns raised by councillors about the potential collapse of the region’s ageing ferry fleet.

The fleet, composed of nine council-owned vessels ranging between 27 to 50 years old, faces the danger of simultaneous breakdown. Such an event could leave the outer isles isolated for weeks, with replacements for the fleet estimated to cost a staggering £400 million.

Councillor Kristopher Leask spoke of the increasing apprehension surrounding the lengthy negotiations with the Scottish Government for new vessels. He stated that although not an imminent threat, “it’s part of our responsibility to crisis plan. We’re now in meetings starting to talk about what would happen in the worst-case scenario.”

Discussion of RAF drops and airlifts as potential solutions have been included in these planning meetings.

In response to the situation, an Orkney Islands Council spokeswoman confirmed to the Press and Journal that emergency planning has begun, in collaboration with the NHS and other essential services.

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