Mull’s new ferry could create up to 14 jobs

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Mull’s new ferry could create up to 14 new jobs for workers on the island.

CalMac has been hiring crew for the Loch Frisa vessel ready for its arrival in March as Mull’s year-round island-based vessel.

Unlike the MV Isle of Mull, the Loch Frisa does not have live-aboard crew accommodation so any crew will need to live close to her home port of Craignure.

Up to seven on-duty crew could be needed, all working a one-week-on, one-week-off rota system.

The closing date for roles including a small ferries skipper, motorman and seaman purser was  January 7.

Loch Frisa’s arrival working alongside a major vessel will mean earlier departures each morning, and later returns each day through the winter, says Mull & Iona Ferry Committee ( MIFC) who have long campaigned for a year-round service meeting islanders’ needs.

Although a precise timetable is still to be worked out, it should mean people travelling from Craignure should be able to catch the 08.57 train from Oban to Glasgow on any day of the week.

Other benefits include making t possible for people on Mull to have a full working day in Oban and for youngsters to travel to and from  school without missing classes.

Loch Frisa’s expected car carrying capacity is 34 but, designed for service in a sheltered Norwegian fjord on a crossing of just 2.5 miles and with a service speed of just 12 knots, she will be slower than the Coruisk she is replacing and be much slower than the Isle Of Mull which means crossing times will be longer.

In December, Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) announced the second-hand Norweigan ferry would be named MV Loch Frisa after a public vote. 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.