Islay RNLI lifeboat crew’s busy Sundays

Lifeboats News Release

Islay RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew were called to the aid of disabled fishing boats on successive Sundays (Sunday 22 May and Sunday 29May).

On Sunday 22 May the all-weather lifeboat Helmut Schroder of Dunlossit II was launched at 8.42am to go to the aid of a fishing boat with two crew members on board who had called for assistance as the engine would not start due to an electrical fault after being at anchor overnight at the south end of Colonsay. The skipper asked for a tow back to Port Askaig where he could have his vessel checked out.

At 9.15 am the lifeboat arrived on the scene where a tow was passed and secured and the vessel was towed the eleven miles back to Port Askaig where they arrived at 10.40am without incident as the weather was calm.

The following Sunday evening (29 May) the Islay RNLI volunteer crew was called to the aid of a disabled fishing boat Silver Guest and her crew of four after they had radioed for help when a substantial wire became caught around the boat’s propeller and the crew were unable to free it.

The Helmut Schroder of Dunlossit II launched at 9.13pm on a still and calm evening and had reached the disabled vessel, which was lying well off the east coast of Colonsay,and secured a tow to this 90 ton prawn fishing boat by 9.55pm.

The lifeboat towed the Silver Guest safely back to Port Askaig, arriving there at 12.15am.

Islay RNLI Coxswain David MacLellan said: ‘It was flat calm, a beautiful night, a simple job and just an unfortunate accident.’

Six days later on Friday 3 June Islay RNLI lifeboat crew responded to a cabin cruiser, Maelstrom, with three men on board that had drifted off her mooring and run onto rocks south east of Scalasaig pier at Colonsay.

The Helmut Schroder of Dunlossit launched at 2.57am and, with the aid of a helicopter,located the vessel.A tow was secured and the cruiser was pulled clear of the rocks and towed back to Port Askaig which was reached at 6.10 am.

Islay RNLI Coxswain David MacLellan said: ‘The 44 foot cruiser ran aground after dragging her anchor during the night and had to be towed back to Port Askaig  as it turned out that she had steering problems’.

With good visibility and a light easterly wind conditions were favourable for this rescue.

RNLI media contacts:

Heather Dewar, RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer at Islay, on 01496 840600 (H) and Islay lifeboat station on 01496 840608, email

Or Richard Smith, RNLI Public Relations Manager Scotland on 01738 642956, 07786 668903 or

Or Henry Weaver, RNLI Press Officer for Scotland, 01738 642946, 07771 943026,

Or contact RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.