80th Call out for Oban RNLI Lifeboat
Oban lifeboat launched yesterday evening to assist a fishing vessel aground on the Isle of Kerrera, at the entrance to Oban bay.
The volunteer crew of Oban Lifeboat launched on service at 6.45pm yesterday evening, arriving on scene within minutes. The vessel was aground on the Isle of Kerrera, at the entrance to Oban bay. It was clear that the vessel, with two persons on board, was well aground and listing heavily.
Oban lifeboat deployed their daughter craft, also known as the xp boat, allowing two crew members to proceed over to the vessel in the shallow water. With the tide still dropping, the decision was made to return later in the evening to attempt to refloat the vessel. With that in mind, lines were passed ashore to secure the vessel should she begin to refloat and her two crew were transferred on board the lifeboat. Oban lifeboat departed the scene at 7.50pm, returning back to her berth shortly after, where the two persons from the fishing vessel were also put ashore.
The volunteer crew of Oban lifeboat re-assembled at the station at 12.30am the following morning, which was now Christmas Eve. The two crew of the fishing vessel also returned to assist in refloating. The lifeboat arriving back on scene to find the vessel still listing heavily. It was decided to put the skipper of the vessel back on board to assess for water ingress.
With the vessel having taken on a large volume of water, Oban lifeboat transferred their salvage pump via the xp boat to assist in pumping this out. The lines ashore were released and a tow line was set up from the bow of the lifeboat in preparation of the vessel floating. With the salvage pump working to remove the water taken on board, the remaining crew member of the vessel was also transferred back on board.
As the vessel slowly began to right on the rising tide, the towline was passed and the lifeboat gently began to pull the vessel backwards. Soon, the vessel began to refloat and the lifeboat continued the tow into deeper water between Kerrera and Maiden Island. The towline was then transferred to an alongside tow and the lifeboat continued back into Oban, where the vessel was safely berthed alongside the railway pier by 3am.
With the vessel and her two crew safe alongside, Oban lifeboat returned to station where she was made ready for service again by 3.30am.
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 over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, 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.