It is just over two years since CalMac’s Finlaggan and her crew won a prestigious safety award ‘with merit’ from the British Safety Council whose awards are internationally renowned and attract entries from blue chip companies globally.
Others which achieved merit awards alongside CalMac were; Babcock International, BAE, Boeing, Carillion, Diageo, GlaxoSmithKline and Unilever. Companies from as far afi eld as India, Nigeria, Jordan, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Qatar and Kuwait were all rewarded.
For CalMac and the crew of Finlaggan, safety is not just a box ticking exercise. Whisky is as potentially hazardous, with the possibility of fire and pollution, as it is valuable and safety and handling considerations were among criteria in the rigorous submissions procedure besides many other details including crew welfare, first aid policy and training, identifying health and safety hazards, testing of emergency systems, and much more. The ship’s master stated “Everyone on board, has a safety role of some description.”
Islay is the fifth largest Scottish island with a small population of around 3,200, but has an immensely valuable whisky industry. Apparently, some 25 per cent of Scotland’s annual malt whisky output is ferried from Islay on its way to markets around the world – mostly by Finlaggan which carries more bulk malt whisky than any other ferry in the UK, and, indeed, very likely the world.
Islay has eight prestigious distilleries and the neighbouring island of Jura has one - all nine shipping their cargo using CalMac, most frequently aboard Finlaggan.