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Mayday boost for Tobermory RNLI as generous locals and visitors fund crew kit

Lifeboats News Release

Tobermory RNLI’s fundraisers have achieved a huge Mayday boost through the generosity of locals and visitors on the Isle of Mull, rounding off a busy month for the lifeboat station.

Tobermory RNLI family barbecue

RNLI/Sam Jones

Tobermory RNLI family barbecue

This year’s RNLI Mayday campaign had the strapline ‘Do your bit, fund our kit’ and Tobermory RNLI’s fundraisers ran a series of successful events to ‘do their bit’. A total of £1,435 was raised through events at Tobermory Primary and High Schools, a family fun day at the Aros Hall and street collections. These funds will go towards buying lifesaving kit for the charity's crews.

Tobermory’s volunteer crew also got to say thanks to the station’s fundraisers, shop and education volunteers and their families at a barbecue at the end of May in glorious sunshine and with much local meat and shellfish. During the event, Tobermory RNLI Chair Richard Fairbairns surprised former Fundraising Chair Carolyn McHaffie with an RNLI award recognising her hard work and leadership in re-establishing the fundraising group at the station. Carolyn received a framed commendation from the RNLI's Chief Executive, Paul Boissier. She is now the station’s Box Secretary.

The crew has been busy offshore as well. On Thursday 24 May, the lifeboat launched to go to the aid of a 13 metre yacht with five people on board with engine failure in Cragaig harbour on the south coast of the Isle of Ulva. The yacht’s crew had attempted to effect repairs but had been unsuccessful. With the calm conditions and proximity to the shore, it would have been impossible for the yacht to sail safely out of the narrow entrance. Coxswain David McHaffie therefore decided that the safest way to assist was to the secure the yacht with a short stern tow in order to safely get the vessel out of the harbour. Once in open water, the tow was lengthened and the yacht was taken to the Ulva Ferry pontoon. The lifeboat returned to Tobermory where she was made ready for service some four hours after launching.

The station’s volunteer Community Safety Officer, Tony ‘Kiwi’ Spillane has run another successful lifejacket clinic, this time on the Isle of Iona. In all 24 lifejackets were checked for free and this is the first time that a clinic has been held on Iona.

Tobermory RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, Dr Sam Jones said: ‘This has been a busy period for all of our volunteers at the station. Well done to our hardworking fundraisers and thank you to our supporters who raised such a phenomenal sum through our Mayday events. We are intending to run more lifejacket clinics around our patch over the next few months. The checks are completely free and could potentially save a life. If you would like us to attend your area or local event, please get in touch. We were also pleased to be able to say thank you to our station volunteers and families. We quite simply couldn’t do it without you. When we drop everything to respond to our pagers, they pick everything up.’

Notes to editors

For further information, please contact Dr Sam Jones, Tobermory RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager on 07747601900 or Gemma Macdonald, Regional Media Officer for Scotland on 07826 900639.

Tobermory RNLI Chair Richard Fairbairns presents Carolyn McHaffie with an RNLI award

RNLI/Sam Jones

Tobermory RNLI Chair Richard Fairbairns presents Carolyn McHaffie with an RNLI award

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 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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

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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