Oban Lifeboat Launches into Storm Ciara
The volunteer crew of Oban RNLI Lifeboat Mora Edith MacDonald faced gale force conditions on two separate call outs on Sunday 8th February
At 10:14am the UK Coastguard requested the immediate launch of Oban Lifeboat following reports of a group of divers in difficulty to the South of Oban. Despite challenging conditions the lifeboat reached the scene quickly, but found that the divers had already been recovered from the water. The lifeboat carries a small inflatable to allow the crew to reach the shore when required known as an XP boat. The xp boat was made ready to put a crew ashore to assist with casualty care, however the Scottish Ambulance Service and Coastguard rescue teams arrived at that point and were able to assist the casualties. At this time, further reports reached the coastguard of another diver drifting to the north. The lifeboat immediately proceeded to the scene and discovered that the object was actually the dive gear of one of the divers now being treated by the Scottish Ambulance Service. As all of the divers were now ashore the lifeboat returned to station.
As the crew were drying off in the station after the incident one of the crew members noticed a dingy drifting across Oban Bay. It was observed that the oars were in place on the dinghy, there was therefore concern that someone may have fallen from it, the crew therefore relaunched into Storm Ciara to ensure that no life was at risk. Several boats were on moorings in Oban Bay and a systematic search of these moorings began. Oban Coastguard Team, who had also just returned from the previous incident located the dinghy and were able to identify a name on it. Fortunately this allowed the owner to be located who was safe and well and unaware that his dinghy had gone adrift. The lifeboat was then able to return to station.
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.