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First ‘shout’ for Tobermory RNLI’s youngest crew member

Lifeboats News Release

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.

Tobermory Future Crew (Alexander Anderson second from right)

RNLI/Nigel Millard

Tobermory Future Crew (Alexander Anderson second from right)

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 classic 'Tobermory Future Crew' photograph which was published in his book, 'The Lifeboat'.

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

Tobermory lifeboat heading out on service

RNLI/Sam Jones

Tobermory lifeboat heading out on service

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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.

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