First ‘shout’ for Tobermory RNLI’s youngest crew member
Tobermory RNLI lifeboat was launched following the detection of an EPIRB distress signal in Loch Scridain during the evening of 19th July 2017 – the first shout for newest volunteer crew member, 17 year old Alexander Anderson who was only issued with his pager just 24 hours beforehand.
An EPIRB is a safety device carried on many vessels which when activated sends a distress signal to the Coastguard and other vessels in the area. Tobermory RNLI’s lifeboat is equipped with direction finding equipment which can help locate such devices. The device in question was registered to a fishing boat and following its detection Stornoway Coastguard tasked Tobermory and Oban lifeboats as well as two Mull based Coastguard Rescue Teams (CRTs) from Craignure and the Ross of Mull to carry out a search.
Tobermory lifeboat launched shortly after 2100 and proceeded to Loch Scridain where the volunteer crew commenced a search in poor visibility using the lifeboat’s direction finding equipment. The crew also approached three fishing boats to eliminate them from the search. As they continued the search, Craignure CRT located a device on the shore which was subsequently confirmed to be the source of the distress signal. Both lifeboats and shore teams were stood down and Tobermory lifeboat proceeded back to station where she was refuelled and made ready for service shortly after midnight.
This was the first shout for Tobermory RNLI’s newest volunteer crew member, Alexander Anderson, aged just 17. Alexander, who is following in his father Jock’s footsteps, was only issued with his pager 24 hours beforehand. Jock Anderson was previously the Station Mechanic until his retirement in 2016. Alexander featured in Nigel Millard's 'future crew' photograph of the children of Tobermory's crew in his book, The Lifeboat, published in 2013.
Coxswain David McHaffie said: ‘This was another excellent example of RNLI and Coastguard volunteers working closely together. We were pleased that the EPIRB proved to be a false alarm.’
Notes to editors
For further information, please contact Tobermory RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, Dr Sam Jones on 07747601900 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
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.