Loch Frisa floats the public’s boat as name for new ferry

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A NEW ferry has been named MV Loch Frisa following a public vote.

Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) announced the name of its newest fleet member after giving the public three options.

Over 1000 votes were cast with Loch Frisa coming out as the favourite. This was closely followed by Glen Forsa in second place and Torosay in third.

MV Utne to be renamed MV Loch Frisa
Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd new vessel named MV Loch Frisa.

MV Loch Frisa, previously named MV Utne was purchased by CMAL from Norway in October 2021.

The vessel is currently docked in Leith and is undergoing modifications to bring her in line with UK maritime regulations.

The work is due to be completed in early 2022. Once the CalMac crew has undergone on board familiarisation training, the vessel will be deployed on the Oban to Craignure route.

There will also be a small ceremony in the new year, where Argyll and Bute councillor Mary-Jean Devon, will officially rename the vessel.

Kevin Hobbs, Chief Executive of CMAL said: “We had an excellent response to our naming competition, and it was very close between Glen Forsa and Loch Frisa. 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.

“We look forward to seeing MV Loch Frisa out on the network, and communities in Skye and the Western Isles will also benefit as a result of the cascade of vessels elsewhere on the network.”

CAML has a significant plan of vessel and harbour investment underway.

Backed by an initial five-year, £580 million commitment from the Scottish Government. The CMAL plans to deliver 21 new vessels for the fleet and complete a multi-million-pound upgrade of harbour infrastructure over the next ten years.

Minister for Transport Graeme Dey said: “I’m very pleased to hear that Loch Frisa has been selected as the name of choice for the vessel. It’s a very befitting name for her deployment on the Mull route.

“She will definitely bring welcome additional resilience for our island communities when she enters service next year.

“The purchase of the vessel is part of the Scottish Government’s £580 million commitment to fund new ferries and port investments over the next five years. We continue to work with CMAL and CalMac to develop potential programmes that will deliver additional improvements to the network.”