Highlands & Islands

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

Isabelle Law Image copyright Eamonn McCabe
Image caption Isabelle Law is the first woman to take charge of the Skye Ferry

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 Troon-built MV Glenachulish crosses the Kylerhea Straits between Glenelg and Kylerhea on Skye.

Image copyright Isle of Skye Ferry Community Interest Company
Image caption The MV Glenachulish is almost 50 years old
Image copyright Isle of Skye Ferry Community Interest Company
Image caption 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."

Image copyright Eamonn McCabe
Image caption Qualifying as a skipper was a dream come true for the 21-year-old
Image caption Isabelle Law began working on the ferry during her school summer holidays

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."

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