‘Mayday’ sparks launch of Oban RNLI Lifeboat

Lifeboats News Release

Oban RNLI lifeboat was requested to launch yesterday evening (Wednesday 31 March) after reports of a broken ‘Mayday’ alert being transmitted.

RNLI/Leonie Mead

A mayday call is the highest level of distress used at sea and usually provides information on the vessels location and nature of their distress. In this instance, no further information had been received and Oban lifeboat ‘Mora Edith MacDonald’ was requested to launch on service.

The volunteer crew departed Oban shortly after 8pm and proceeded to search towards Lismore lighthouse, before continuing north towards Port Appin. No other vessels in the area had heard the call and with no further information regarding the location of the distress, the volunteers proceeded to investigate a few known VHF ‘black spots’ in the area.

A black spot refers to an area that has limited VHF signal, similar to loosing signal on a mobile phone. As the volunteer crew made use of their extensive local knowledge, they proceeded into Loch Creran and then further south into Loch Etive, enabling them to determine whether the distress could have been partially transmitted from either location.

With nothing untoward found and no further information received, the lifeboat was requested to stand down , returning to Oban where she was made ready for service again by 10.45pm.

With the Scottish Government ‘stay at home’ message set to end on Friday, we urge everyone to take extra care should they be heading to the coast this Easter Bank Holiday weekend. Dangers at our coasts still exist and our lifeboat crew can’t be everywhere at once. We advise everyone to be cautious, check the weather and tides and always carry a means of calling for help.

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.