View as PDF

Multi incident shout for the Tobermory volunteer lifeboat crew.

Lifeboats News Release

At 1255pm on Saturday 29 April 2017, the pagers of the Tobermory RNLI Lifeboat crew were activated to launch the Severn Class all weather Lifeboat ‘Elizabeth Fairlie Ramsay’. In response to an incident with two divers in Loc

Tobermory Severn Class Lifeboat Elizabeth Farlie Ramsay

RNLI/Michael (Mick) Stirling

Tobermory Severn Class Lifeboat Elizabeth Farlie Ramsay

Within minutes of the pagers being set off, the crew assembled at the Lifeboat station where they were briefed that the incident involved two divers who had made a rapid ascent from their dive depth and were at risk of decompression sickness also referred to as the bends. The divers were now at the pontoons in Tobermory with the dive boat.

They made their way onto the boarding boat and headed out into the bay to the mooring. Two of the crew remained on the boarding and made their way to the casualty with the first aid equipment, so that the two casualties could be immediately assessed and treated.

Within minutes the Lifeboat was clear of its mooring and alongside at the pontoons. The casualties were transferred and they set off to Lochaline where they would be transferred to the Oban Lifeboat 'Mora Edith MacDonald'.

On arrival at Lochaline the transfer was aborted as the Oban lifeboat received a call to attend a vessel with an engine room fire near Fort William. The volunteer crew and the Tobermory lifeboat would continue into Oban where the Scottish ambulance service and the local coastguard team met us upon our arrival.

With the two casualties now in the safe hands of the Scottish ambulance service, The Tobermory Lifeboat started to make its way back to Tobermory. Shortly after leaving the berth in Oban, a mayday was heard from a three-metre inflatable in difficulty taking on water south of the Isle of Kerrera with two people on board.

The Tobermory lifeboat made its way to the casualty location, whilst the volunteer crew prepared the on board Y-boat inflatable craft and placed two of the crew into dry suits. At this time, the Caledonian Macbrayne ferries the Hebridean Isles and Clansman diverted to assist in the incident along with several other small craft in the area.

Shortly after arriving at the reported location of the casualty vessel was sighted and the Lifeboat made way to the vessel, both casualties were transferred onto the Lifeboat and the casualty vessel secured. Oban Lifeboat had by now been stood down from the incident at Fort William and were also now onsite. The casualties and their inflatable were transferred to the Oban Lifeboat who took both back to port in Oban.

Tobermory lifeboat and the volunteer crew then returned to the mooring at Tobermory where it was refueled and made ready for service.

This was the first shout for volunteer crew member Ben Ried, it was also a very eventful day and one I am sure he will remember for many years.

Many thanks to Caledonian MacBrayne and all the other vessels who came to assist in locating the inflatable south of Kerrera.

Crew: Coxswain David McHaffie, Mechanic Paul ‘Gunny’ Gunn, Tony Spillane, Simon Waller, Don Mitchell, Ben Ried, Mick Stirling.

RNLI media contacts:

Michael Stirling, Tobermory Lifeboat Press Officer on 07921 515686, or boat Press Officer on 07921 515686, or

Richard Smith, 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.

RNLI onlineFor more information on the RNLI please visit News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI Press Centre 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 230 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and has more than 100 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK. 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 137,000 lives. The RNLI is a charity registered in England, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland.

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland