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Oban RNLI Lifeboat’s first launch under Covid-19 restrictions

Lifeboats News Release

Yesterday evening (Sunday 10 May) Oban RNLI Lifeboat responded to their first call out since the government restrictions relating to Covid-19 began, almost seven weeks ago.

RNLI/Leonie Mead

The volunteer crew of Oban RNLI Lifeboat ‘Mora Edith MacDonald’ were tasked by UK Coastguard at 6.30pm yesterday evening after reports of a kayak drifting in the Craobh Haven area.

The lifeboat launched on service and made best speed to the location, on route, it became apparent that the call was in fact a false alarm with good intent. Oban lifeboat was stood down and returned to station, where she was refuelled and ready for service again by 8pm.

Billy Forteith, Oban Lifeboat’s Operations Manager said “This is Oban RNLI’s first call out since restrictions were introduced nearly seven weeks ago and that is testimony to those who have adhered to the guidelines put in place by the government. As one of the busiest lifeboats in Scotland, we would normally have launched between 10 and 15 times so far in the calendar year but, at present, we have launched five times in 2020. As with this incident, we urge anyone who sees anyone in difficulty, to dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

Our numbers may have reduced, as has our fundraising activity, but our readiness to launch has not. Oban RNLI, like other lifeboats around the country, remain ready to launch should they be required.”

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 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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

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