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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.

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.

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