Oban RNLI Lifeboat aids fishing vessel in Storm Aiden
Oban RNLI lifeboat launched in gale force winds and driving rain this afternoon (Saturday 31 October) to assist a 22ft fishing vessel in Loch Etive.
The fishing boat, with 4 persons on board, had broken down, west of Airds Point. It was understood that they had managed to secure to a fish farm mooring while they awaited assistance.
The lifeboat launched at 3.45pm and the volunteer crew left the relative shelter of Oban bay for the heavy seas and winds gusting 60mph brought in by Storm Aiden.
Arriving on scene by 4.15pm, a tow was set up to get the boat clear of the fish farm. A work boat from the fish farm was also on scene. Once clear of the farm, the lifeboat proceeded to tow the boat towards Taynuilt pier, where the group had launched from by trailer, earlier in the day.
However, given the extremely high tide, the pier was now mostly submerged. It was clear that getting the boat back to its trailer, or the persons on board ashore, would pose further danger.
With no other shelter in the area, the decision was made to secure the boat to a mooring in Airds bay and take the persons on board the lifeboat for the journey home.
The lifeboat proceeded out of the loch and into Dunstaffnage marina where Oban’s Coastguard Rescue Team were on scene to assist as the persons on board were transferred ashore, by 6.30pm.
Oban lifeboat then proceeded back to Oban where she was made ready for service again by 7pm.
Ally Cerexhe, Oban lifeboats coxswain said “With the bad weather set to continue for the rest of the weekend, please take extra care when visiting the coast and think twice about heading out on the water in these conditions. Although the lochs may appear to provide some shelter, the strong winds and high tides still pose the same risk. If do see anyone in difficulty, remember to call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”
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.