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5 September 2018

First female skipper

With the completion of the Skye bridge, the old ferry route from Kyle of Lochalsh to Kyleakin was consigned to CalMac’s archives. But one small ferry continues to cross the tidal narrows from Glenelg to Kylerhea. This one is a real gem – it’s the last sea-going, manually operated, turntable ferry in the world. And it has been under community ownership since 2007. It’s been making the crossing since 1934 and now it is notable for yet another reason, At the tender age of 21, local woman, Isabelle Law, has just become the ferry’s first ever female skipper.

By BBC

First female skipper of world's last ferry of its kind


A 21-year-old has qualified as a skipper on the world's last sea-going, manually-operated, turntable ferry.


Isabelle Law worked summer jobs on the MV Glenachulish, which is almost 50 years old and serves the oldest crossing to Skye from the mainland.


Ms Law, from Skye, is the first woman to take charge of the boat.


She said: "It is quite unique for a woman to be a skipper, so hopefully it will encourage other people to follow their dreams."


The MV Glenachulish is almost 50 years old


The boat is owned by a community company


A car ferry has crossed the straits since 1934.


The current service has been run by a community-owned company since 2007. It took over the route after long-time ferryman Roddy MacLeod retired.


Ms Law realised that she wanted to help to keep the ferry service going while working on the MV Glenachulish during her school holidays.


She said: "To be the skipper would help them out in years to come."


The ferry is operated on the oldest crossing to Skye from the mainland


About her job she said: "It is not intimidating, but it is a huge task to take on.


"You are in charge of this vessel and you are in charge of the passengers' safety.


"But I've got amazing helpers that have helped me to achieve this, and they are constantly helping me out to learn how to handle the vessel."


A car ferry has crossed the straits since 1934. The current service has been run by a community-owned company since 2007. It took over the route after long-time ferryman Roddy MacLeod retired.


The ferry is operated on the oldest crossing to Skye from the mainland


 

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