A new-state-of-the-art lifesaving system is being fitted to CMAL’s MV Coruisk before it takes on its new summer sailing schedule on the CalMac service between Oban and Mull.
The new Maritime Evacuation System [MES] will significantly speed up the vessel’s evacuation in the event of an emergency.
Drew Collier, CalMac’s director of operations, says: ‘Safety is our number one priority and we are anxious to fit the most up to date safety equipment on the market within our vessels. This new MES system can give passengers and crew the reassurances that they can rely on the most technically advanced system available in the unlikely event of an emergency.’
‘The Coruisk will leave for dry dock on 7th March and will pick up its new route from 25th March.
‘Given other operational pressures it was not possible to get this new system fitted when the vessel was in it annual dry dock, but it is important that this work is carried out before it takes on a full time sailing schedule again.’
The safety upgrade requires the vessel to leave its part time winter cover on the Dunoon Gourock route two weeks early.
The system to be used is similar to that recently fitted to the ferries serving the Rothesay route, MV Bute and MV Argyle – and is now a requirement of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency [MCA].
The two week loss of the Coruisk as cover on the Gourock -Dunoon route will be of no account since her, operationally as good as pointless, deployment on this role has – a short second to the ridiculously scheduled Ardrossan-Campbeltown seasonal service – been one of the most nakedly political sweeteners seen in Scotland in recent years and paid for by unconsulted taxpayers.
Nevertheless, the upgrade means the Isle of Mull will be getting a fully capable second boat on the Oban to Craignure service for its first post-RET [Road Equivalent Tariff]summer season.