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A new name for the MV Utne, the second-hand Norwegian vessel bought by CalMac’s national owner for the Oban- Craignure route, has been unveiled after a tight race in a public vote.
Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) announced it will be named MV Loch Frisa. More than 1,000 votes were cast, with Loch Frisa coming out as favourite, Glen Forsa in a very close second place, and Torosay in third.
The MV Loch Frisa is currently at Dales Marine Services Ltd in Leith to bring her in line with UK maritime regulations.
Work should be completed in early 2022. Once the CalMac crew has had familiarisation training, she will be deployed on the Oban-Craignure route.
A small ceremony will follow in the new year, when Argyll and Bute councillor Mary-Jean Devon, who is from Tobermory, will officially rename the vessel.
Kevin Hobbs, chief executive of CMAL said: ‘We wanted to rename the ferry to give her a Scottish identity, and Loch Frisa is the largest loch on the Isle of Mull, so it is a perfect fit.
‘Skye and the Western Isles will also benefit as a result of the cascade of vessels elsewhere on the network.’
The public vote included a competition with a prize for one voter chosen at random, to be invited as a special guest (with a friend) to travel onboard the MV Loch Frisa, and receive a £200 gift voucher for the Isle of Mull hotel. The winner was named as Alistair Forsyth, from Arran, who said he will be taking his wife along with him for the trip.