Loch Frisa, the former Norwegian ro-ro/passenger ship Utne (2015/1,160gt) left Dales dry dock at the end of March in her new Caledonian MacBrayne livery.
The majority of the works undertaken which include new ramps, mooring platforms, CCTV, cabling and a marine evacuation system, has been completed.
CMAL, (Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd, owner of the ferry) is working with Dales Marine Services in Leith to ensure that the remaining items are finalised and they are expected to be completed in early April.
Once work is complete, CalMac’s crew will be trained regarding Loch Frisa’s operation and safety systems.
When the vessel gains the required Passenger Certificate from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, CalMac will carry out operator’s sea trials, further crew familiarisation and berthing trials after moving her to the west coast.
Loch Frisa is expected to enter service, operating on the Craignure (Isle of Mull) to Oban route, in June, where she will replace Coruisk as the second vessel.
Coruisk is expected to move back to Mallaig in summer 2022. This is welcome news and will provide much needed additional resilience to the fleet.
Photo and report by Iain McGeachy