By Scott Wright

AN Isle of Skye seafood cruise business has adapted its model during the current health crisis to transport vital supplies to the neighbouring island of Rona.

Normal working life for Ewen Grant and Janice Cooney involves running cruises from Portree to Rona and neighbouring Raasay for up to 12 people on their 40-foot luxury catamaran, Seaflower, with guests served freshly-caught seafood.

However, the coronavirus pandemic has led the five-start visitor attraction to diversify. And that means delivering supplies to the remote island of Rona, a one-hour boat journey away. Ms Cooney is also working as a nurse during the pandemic.

Rona has just four residents, current caretaker Bill Cowie, wife Lorraine, as well as a couple who were chosen out of scores of applicants to be inducted as the island’s next custodians. They will take over when the current custodians retire.

Mr Grant said: “Seaflower is the only way to get essential supplies to an almost deserted but magical island. We’re determined to make sure the resident quartet have all they need during the pandemic.”

Donna Fordyce of Seafood Scotland said: “This is another example of the ingenuity being shown by a small business within the wider seafood sector. From fishermen, processors, retailers and tourism businesses built around some of the world’s finest seafood, all are suffering the effects of coronavirus right now. The speed at which these businesses have adapted to survive, and to help their close communities which often rely on the seafood sector themselves, is an inspiration and yet another reason for Scotland’s seafood community to be immensely proud.”