Rain fails to stop play at Tobermory RNLI Lifeboat Day

Lifeboats News Release

Heavy rain and a northerly wind did not dampen spirits at Tobermory's annual Lifeboat Day with around £4,500 being raised to help save lives at sea.

RNLI/Sam Jones

Owl at Tobermory Lifeboat Day
The Harry Potter themed weekend kicked off in style on Friday evening with a cocktail night at the Tobermory Gallery Cafe. Alexandra Stevens and her team transformed the cafe into the dining hall at Hogwarts and served up cocktails such as Polyjuice and Butter Beer with £1 from every cocktail sold being donated to Tobermory RNLI. On Saturday night, the Mishnish Hotel hosted a party with a singing Gandalf the Grey aka Robert Farrell belting out some disco tunes with a raffle in aid of the RNLI.

Despite a favourable weather forecast in the days beforehand, Sunday saw heavy rain and a cold northerly wind. Nevertheless, locals and visitors turned out to support the highlight of Tobermory RNLI's fundraising year, Lifeboat Day. The event was opened by a foot stomping performance from the Tobermory Seahawks cheer leaders at the Aros Hall due to the weather conditions. The Seahawks then paraded down the Main Street to Lifeboat Day led by Tobermory Womble

The Harry Potter theme continued with the teenage wizard's owl, Hedwig, attending courtesy of Kintail Birds of Prey, as well as a fancy dress parade for adults and children. Seafood was in abundance with Loch Fyne Oysters donating all of their proceeds to Tobermory RNLI. There were also prawn cocktails and lobsters donated by local fishermen, Tobermory High School pupil and fisherman Rio Brown selling crabs, lobsters, prawns and squats as well as some smoked fish delights from the Tobermory Fish Company. Given the weather, unsurprisingly the barbecue was particularly popular with 320 burgers being sold, raising £1,120. There was also an opportunity for visitors to look around the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust's research vessel, Silurian.

The day was compered by Alastair Satchel and musical entertainment was provided by local band, Flora. There was a tribute and a minute's applause for the much missed Anne 'Cookie' Flavell who volunteered as a Deputy Launching Authority and Lifeboat Treasurer at Tobermory RNLI for more than 21 years and sadly passed away earlier this year. There was an auction for a leather journal beautifully crafted by John Boyle in memory of Cookie which was auctioned raising £30 for one of her favourite charities, Mary's Meals.

The main attraction was Tobermory's Severn class all weather lifeboat, Elizabeth Fairlie Ramsey, with more than 400 people taking the opportunity to go on board and meet the crew. The day concluded with a raft race with three crews braving the cold and wet conditions.

Tobermory RNLI Coxswain David McHaffie said: 'We'd like to thank everyone who turned out to support us despite the dreich weather. £4,500 is a tremendous sum which shows the generosity of our local community and visitors. This will help us to continue to help others at sea. I'd also like to thank everyone who helped out on the day, particularly our hardworking volunteer fundraisers who made the day such an outstanding success'.

Tobermory's Lifeboat Weekend rounded off a particularly busy spell for the volunteer crew with five call outs in the preceding seven days.

RNLI Media Contacts

For further information, please contact

Dr Sam Jones, Tobermory RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager and Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07747601900 or [email protected]

Martin Macnamara, Regional Media Officer (Scotland), 07920 365929 or [email protected]

Gemma McDonald, Regional Media Manager (Scotland), 07826 900639 or [email protected]

RNLI/Sam Jones

Raft Race at Tobermory Lifeboat Day

RNLI/Sam Jones

Tobermory RNLI Deputy Second Mechanic Simon Thomasson with Emma Burgess, skipper of HWDT’s research vessel, Silurian

RNLI/Sam Jones

Tobermory RNLI Education Volunteer Kirsty Blackhall and Crew Member Rose Skelton preparing prawn cocktails

RNLI/Neil McHaffie

Tobermory RNLI crew and fundraisers after a wet Lifeboat Day

RNLI/Sam Jones

Alex Stevens and a dementor at the Harry Potter cocktail night at the Gallery Cafe

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 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.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

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