Sinking RIB sparks launch of Oban RNLI Lifeboat
Oban Lifeboat launched on service yesterday afternoon (Saturday 6th June) after reports of a 11 meter RIB with three persons on board, taking on water north of Maiden Island, outside Oban bay.
The volunteer crew of Oban Lifeboat ‘Mora Edith MacDonald’ launched on service at 7.30pm on Saturday evening, at the request of the UK Coastguard.
On their way to the casualty vessel, the lifeboat crew made ready the salvage pump, a portable diesel water pump carried on board the lifeboat, capable of pumping up to 175 gallons of water a minute for up to four hours.
Once on scene, an alongside tow was set up with the vessel and a crew member was put on board to assess the situation.
The salvage pump was quickly put to use, however it was clear that there was no immediate fix to stop the water ingress. As the pump was preventing the water level from rising, the decision was made to transfer the three persons on board the casualty vessel to the lifeboat.
Once the persons on board were safely transferred to the lifeboat, the salvage pump was put fully on board the RIB, along with another crew member. The lifeboat then set up a long tow with the vessel allowing best speed to made to the nearest safe haven with lifting capabilities. Ensuring the RIB could be lifted immediately would prevent it from sinking and the associated risk of pollution.
The lifeboat arrived in Ardmucknish bay by 9pm, where they were met by the work boat of Loch Nell Boatyard. Their boat cradle had been positioned in the water ready to receive the RIB and so the work boat took the vessel in tow and into the cradle to be lifted.
Once the RIB was safely out of the water, the two crew members and salvage pump where transferred back on to the lifeboat, and the three persons on board the vessel were transferred onwards to shore via the work boat.
Appin’s Coastguard Rescue Team were also on scene to assist.
With everyone safe ashore and the RIB out of the water, Oban lifeboat departed the scene. Returning to Oban, she was made ready for service again by 10pm.
Mark Scott, one of Oban Lifeboat's Deputy Coxswains who was coxswain for the call out said “We'd like to thank the staff of Loch Nell Boatyard for their assistance and swift response in readying their boat cradle for use. Lifeboat crews remain ready to launch should they be required but, although the government restrictions now allow some watersports activity to resume, we urge everyone to stay close to home and stay safe.”
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.