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CalMac takes a creative cut to safety announcement

Ferry operator CalMac has premiered a new innovative on-board safety video to try and better educate passengers on what to do in an emergency. 

The three-minute film uses allegory and imagery of the scenery, occupations and wildlife across the west coast to bring its safety message to life. All the actors were local residents from Arran.

Currently the safety announcement is a pre-recorded audio message, and is played after the ship`s Captain has given their own welcome on board. 

'The message behind our safety announcement is a serious one, it is about giving passengers the information they need in the unlikely event of an emergency,' said CalMac's director of Health, Safety, Quality and Environment, Louis de Wolff.

'However, our research was telling us that passengers weren't listening to the information being given to them over the tannoy, so we thought we needed other, more engaging ways of getting our safety message across.'

CalMac sails on 27 routes across the west coast of Scotland serving island and remote mainland locations. It operates a fleet of 33 vessels and last year carried 5.3 million passengers and nearly 1.3 million vehicles.

'A safety announcement that meets the legal requirements is not fit for purpose unless people absorb and remember the information we want them to,' said Louis.

'By knowing clearly what to do in an emergency, there is a better chance of a successful outcome and a reduced chance of further accidents or injuries.' 

'Although the tone is fun and engaging, the message is of critical importance. By keeping passengers entertained we are keeping them engaged and therefore more likely to take on-board what we are telling them.'

The video and audio messages have been recorded in English and Gaelic with the video also having subtitles. The new video and audio announcements will be rolled out across the fleet during 2018. 

The safety film can be viewed here.


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