Islay RNLI lifeboat crew rescues fishing boat with engine failure

Lifeboats News Release

Islay RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew was called to the aid of a disabled fishing boat on the evening of Tuesday 21 February to the north of Dubh Artach lighthouse.

Despite having her anchor down, the crab fishing boat, suffering from engine failure, was drifting towards the Torran Rocks in gale force winds. The Islay lifeboat coxswain calculated that she had five miles of sea room provided that her anchor held in the very heavy seas that were running at that time.

On arrival at the scene, with the wind blowing at 45 knots and 4 - 5 metre waves, the lifeboat crew’s initial attempts at passing a tow failed but finally one was secured and a course was set for Port Askaig.

With a heavy swell on the starboard quarter the tow rope parted a total of four times during the six hour tow back to the shelter of the Sound of Islay, with the crew having to haul the heavy waterlogged rope back on board each time before reconnecting with the fishing boat.

Finally at about 4am the 160 ton vessel Annie was brought safely into the North Basin at Port Askaig.

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.

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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, in a normal year, 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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