500th call out for Oban lifeboat's deputy coxswain and crew member David Isaac

Lifeboats News Release

Two call outs yesterday (Wednesday 20 February) resulted in the 500th service for Oban RNLI Lifeboat’s crew member and deputy coxswain, David Isaac.

RNLI/Leonie Mead

David Isaac onboard Oban lifeboat

It was a busy day for Oban Lifeboat’s volunteer crew, first launching at 8am to assist a barge in difficulty, returning to station by 2.30pm, the crew had just enough time to refuel and replenish supplies before the next call out - a ‘Mayday’ call alerting of an overdue diver in the Sound of Mull. The lifeboat left the berth once again, making best speed to the Salen area of the Sound of Mull. Tobermory RNLI lifeboat along with the Coastguard rescue helicopter were also tasked, while CalMac ferries diverted course to assist. Thankfully it was good news and the diver was located safe and well shortly after the lifeboat arrived on scene. With everyone accounted for, the lifeboat was stood down, arriving back in Oban by 5pm, 9 hours after the initial launch.

Not only was this a long day for Oban lifeboat, it also marked the 500th call out for one of our deputy coxswains and volunteer crew members, David Isaac.

David, who is a fisherman by trade, first joined Oban lifeboat 20 years ago. By 2006 he passed out as a deputy coxswain on station. Last year alone he clocked up 55 hours and 526 miles onboard the lifeboat.

When asked about his time onboard, David said “It’s hard to pick a most memorable shout, but I have been picked up off my fishing boat several times when the pager has gone off. I’ve also cut short an anniversary dinner!” Reflecting on his time at the station he continued “As a boy growing up and watching the lifeboat launch it was something I always admired, so it was a big milestone for me when I joined the crew and a huge honour passing out as a coxswain. To be the one at the helm with such a good crew backing each other up is a real privilege.”

David is one of thousands of volunteer crew members around the coast who drop everything at anytime, to respond to their pager. Without such commitment and dedication the RNLI wouldn’t be able to continue saving lives at sea.

RNLI/Leonie Mead

Tobermory lifeboat on scene in the Sound of Mull

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.

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