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Busy day for Tobermory RNLI with three ‘shouts’ in six hours

Lifeboats News Release

Tobermory RNLI’s volunteer crew responded to three back-to-back callouts in the afternoon of Tuesday June 11th 2019, covering a distance of over 100 miles across a wide geographical area.

Rescue 151 preparing to winch casualty from Staffa

RNLI/Simon Waller

Rescue 151 preparing to winch casualty from Staffa

Tobermory RNLI’s Severn class lifeboat, Elizabeth Fairlie Ramsey, was launched shortly after midday to the aid of a 10 metre fishing vessel with two persons onboard that had lost power to the south of Crossapol Bay on the island of Coll, 25 miles from Tobermory. Once on scene, a tow was established and the vessel was taken towards Arinagour, Coll.

En route to Arinagour, the all-weather lifeboat was once again tasked by the UK Coastguard to assist with the evacuation of a person with leg injuries who had fallen on the remote island of Staffa. Due to the inaccessibility of the location of the casualty, the Coll Coastguard Rescue Team and Coastguard helicopter, Rescue 151, were also tasked. The lifeboat continued to Arinagour where the fishing vessel was secured alongside the pier and members of the Coll coastguard team collected.

The lifeboat and coastguard team proceeded to Staffa, arriving on scene at 3.25pm and stood by as Rescue 151 winched the casualty to safety from the entrance to Fingal’s Cave and subsequently transferred them to hospital. Once stood down, the lifeboat returned to Arinagour with the coastguard team and then proceeded back to Tobermory, arriving at 5.30pm.

Once refuelled and as the volunteer crew were washing down the lifeboat, the third tasking request of the day came in from the UK Coastguard, almost exactly six hours after the pagers first sounded. The lifeboat proceeded to Loch Sunart where two persons had requested assistance when their six metre RIB had suffered engine failure a short distance from their starting point. The RIB was towed by the lifeboat to Salen Pier and recovered to the pontoons. The lifeboat returned to her berth where she was made ready for service again by 8.00pm.

Third Mechanic Tony ‘Kiwi’ Spillane said: ‘This was a classic example of the unpredictability of the lifeboat service. When the volunteer crew respond to their pagers, it is never certain how the day will turn out.’

For further information, please contact

Leanne Blair, Tobermory RNLI Volunteer Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer on 07711549609 or leanne_blair@rnli.org.uk

Martin Macnamara, Regional Media Officer (Scotland), 07920 365929 or martin_macnamara@rnli.org.uk

Gemma McDonald, Regional Media Manager (Scotland), 07826 900639 or gemma_mcdonald@rnli.org.uk

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 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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Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.

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