Tuesday, January 13, 2015

RoRo Freight and Passenger Ferry Crew Assist Islanders in Need

Scottish Storms Deprive Isle of Harris of Power and Communications
Shipping News Feature

UK – With the position of inter-island ferry operator often comes social responsibilities that exceed those of a normal freight or passenger ocean carrier, no matter where in the world one operates. Often the ships provide the sole lifeline in times of hardship no matter the cause, weather, disaster etc. This week the storms which swept the Scottish coastline with winds well over 100mph caused a Caledonian MacBrayne RoRo ferry to intervene to assist residents of the remote Isle of Harris.

With the island without power for approaching 48 hours CalMac’s MV Finlaggan opened her gangway to members of the community from 4-8pm on Sunday and the Master, Barry Scott, and his crew welcomed approximately fifty local residents on board and provided hot drinks and filled rolls, as well as offering them the chance to take a shower.

Some who were aboard took hot water and food back to those who could not venture out, and also took the opportunity to re-charge mobile devices in case the telephone network was restored. Meanwhile the ship’s Chief Engineer and 2nd Engineer were able to apply their technical expertise at a local hotel, wiring an emergency generator to supply power. CalMac Duty Operations Manager Finlay MacRae, commented:

“The Master and crew of MV Finlaggan were pleased to be able to support the relief efforts. A hot drink, some food and a shower hopefully provided some respite, and thanks, too, to our engineering colleagues from Finlaggan, whose assistance in connecting a generator helped the pierside hotel to assist with relief efforts for the wider community.”

Photo: MV Finlaggan