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Unexploded mine on Tiree sparks unusual callout for Tobermory RNLI volunteers

Lifeboats News Release

Tobermory RNLI's volunteer crew had an unusual callout on Thursday 12th October when they were asked to assist with an unexploded WW2 mine on the Isle of Tiree.

Tobermory lifeboat

RNLI/Sam Jones

Tobermory lifeboat

At around 2pm on Thursday afternoon, Tobermory RNLI's Lifeboat Operations Manager was informed by the UK Coastguard that a possible Second World War sea mine had been discovered on a beach on the remote island of Tiree off the west coast of the Isle of Mull. With the Tiree Wave Classic, a major wind surfing festival, due to start at the weekend, a Royal Navy bomb disposal expert was being flown to the island by the Coastguard's search and rescue helicopter based at Prestwick to assess the suspected mine. With only two Coastguards able to guard the mine on Tiree, Tobermory RNLI was asked to transfer members of the Coastguard Rescue Teams based at Tobermory and the Ross of Mull to the island as reinforcements in the event that the bomb disposal expert confirmed that the mine had the potential to explode.

With the weather forecast to worsen with a Force 8 gale predicted for later in the evening, Tobermory's Lifeboat Operations Manager and Coxswain agreed that the lifeboat should be launched before the bomb disposal expert was able to examine the device so that the Coastguards could be landed in daylight and before the weather closed in. Tobermory's volunteer lifeboat crew launched shortly after 5pm with the Coastguards on board but shortly after leaving Tobermory Bay were stood down as the Royal Navy's bomb disposal expert confirmed that the mine was not intact and did not present a threat.

Tobermory RNLI's Lifeboat Operations Manager, Dr Sam Jones said: 'This was certainly an unusual tasking for our crew. We were pleased to hear that the mine was not a threat and we wish all the competitors and spectators at the Tiree Wave Classic a safe and enjoyable few days in the surf.'

Notes to editors

For further information, please contact Tobermory RNLI's Lifeboat Operations Manager, Dr Sam Jones on 07747 601900 or or Gemma McDonald, Regional Media Officer for Scotland on 01738 642956 or

Coastguards from Tobermory and the Ross of Mull board Tobermory's lifeboat

RNLI/David McHaffie

Coastguards from Tobermory and the Ross of Mull board Tobermory's lifeboat

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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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