New lifesaving system fitted to Rothesay ferries

MV Bute leaving Rothesay on November 27, with the panel housing the ship's new lifesaving equipment clearly visible next to the 'Caledonian MacBrayne' lettering on the hull.
MV Bute leaving Rothesay on November 27, with the panel housing the ship's new lifesaving equipment clearly visible next to the 'Caledonian MacBrayne' lettering on the hull.

A new system of lifesaving equipment has been fitted to Rothesay’s ferries during their annual overhauls.

The new system - obvious to outside observers through the appearance of a large white patch on the black-painted sections of the ships’ hulls - will be capable of deployment much more speedily than the one it replaces.

The new equipment is already in place on MV Bute, and is currently being installed on MV Argyle during the latter ship’s annual overhaul in Greenock.

Robert Kelso, fleet technical manager for CalMac Ferries Ltd and my guide on this behind-the-scenes tour, says: “We felt we could make it a far better system of lifesaving equipment, and we want to make sure we’ve got the best for our passengers.

“The previous system still complied with all the rules and regulations, but instead of having the ‘silver’ version, if you like, we wanted the gold standard.

“It’ll be a lot faster and a lot simpler for crews to use in the unlikely event of an emergency.”

* Watching the installation of the new equipment was just one aspect of our behind-the-scenes tour of MV Argyle in dry dock in Greenock this week - for the full story see the November 27 issue of The Buteman, on sale now.