RNLI Kessock volunteer diverts his ferry to save fisherman from sinking

Lifeboats News Release

Andy Grant, one of RNLI Kessock’s Deputy Launch Authorities, diverted his Caledonian MacBrayne Ferry, MV Lord of The Isles, yesterday (Thursday 8 June) morning to rescue a single handed fisherman who was in the process of abandoning ship to his liferaft.

Creel boat Inshallah

RNLI/Andy Grant

Creel boat Inshallah

Andy, a Master with Caledonian MacBrayne was alerted to the incident by The Chief Officer, who was on watch and had overheard the fisherman seeking assistance from the Coastguard over VHF Channel 16. Andy immediately offered assistance to the Coastguard and diverted his course by 5 miles to the scene of the incident in Loch Brittle off Skye.

At the time the ferry was crossing from Lochboisdale to Mallaig with 30 passengers on board.

Mallaig lifeboat was also requested to launch by the UK Coastguard.

As the ferry arrived on scene the fisherman was in the process of abandoning his fishing boat into the liferaft and cutting himself free from the creel boat.

Andy and his crew launched the ferry’s fast rescue craft and minutes later had rescued the fisherman from his liferaft. He was wearing a lifejacket and oilskins. Moments later, from the bridge of the ferry, Andy and the fisherman watched the Inshallah sink below the surface.

Commenting on the incident, RNLI volunteer Deputy Launch Authority and Caledonian MacBrayne Master, Andy Grant said ‘This fisherman is credit to himself. He was correctly equipped with the right safety gear. More importantly, he knew how to use it when it mattered. He called for help sooner rather than later, all this led to him not even getting wet throughout the ordeal.’

Speaking of the crew of Lord of The Isles, Andy added ‘I’m incredibly proud my crew. They acted professionally, calmly and with no panic. They did exactly what they needed to do, resulting in the fast, safe and effective rescue of the fisherman. They should all be very proud of themselves’

With the fisherman safely on board, Andy returned the ferry to its original course for Mallaig harbour where, arriving 30 minutes late, they were met by the Mallaig Coastguard Team to provide further assistance to the fisherman.

Debris from the Inshallah was collected from the sea by another local creel boat. Meanwhile, arriving at the scene of the sinking, Mallaig lifeboat checked the scene for possible pollution.


Media Contacts

Dan Holland, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, RNLI Kessock, 07900 567 496 dnjholland@me.com

Richard Smith, RNLI Public Relations Manager for Scotland, 01738 642956, 07786 668903, richard_smith2@rnli.org.uk

Henry Weaver, RNLI Press Officer for Scotland, 01738 642946, 07771 943026, henry_weaver@rnli.org.uk

RNLI 24 hour Press Office, 01202 336789

Inshallah's life raft

RNLI/Andy Grant

Inshallah's life raft
Mallaig Coastguard Team meet the fisherman

RNLI/Andy Grant

Mallaig Coastguard Team meet the fisherman
MV Lord of The Isles

Caledonian MacBrayne

MV Lord of The Isles

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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 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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