Busy evening for Oban RNLI as volunteer’s assistance requested twice

Lifeboats News Release

It was a busy evening yesterday (Tuesday 27 April) for the volunteers of Oban lifeboat with two consecutive call outs, first launching to a person in the water, followed by a sailing dinghy adrift.

RNLI/Leonie Mead

The lifeboat was first requested to launch at 9.15pm, to reports of a person in the water in Loch Feochan. They were understood to be clinging to a mooring buoy. Oban lifeboat ‘Mora Edith MacDonald’ launched on service and made best speed to the casualty’s position. On route, it was established that another person had entered the water to assist them.

Oban’s Coastguard Rescue Team had also been paged as local boats also proceeded to assist. As the lifeboat made its way to the loch’s entrance, it was established that both persons had been recovered from the water by those on scene. The lifeboat was stood down.

While on route back to station, at 9.40pm, the volunteer crew spotted a small sailing dinghy drifting in the sound of Kerrera with four persons on board. Duty coxswain Finlo Cottier made the decision to recover the four persons on board to the lifeboat and tow the dinghy back to Oban as they were making little headway on their own.

Finlo said “With light winds and a south flowing tide, they would have struggled to make it back to safety and light was fading fast. All on board were safe and well but this could have been very different a few hours later.”

The lifeboat continued back to Oban where the dinghy and one person where recovered to the shore at Dungallan Park and the remaining three persons transferred ashore at the lifeboat’s berth.

Oban lifeboat was made ready for service again by 10.45pm.

Finlo said “Our thanks to those that also launched to assist with the first call out this evening, their swift actions meant the casualties were recovered safely ashore. Luckily we spotted the drifting dinghy on our return to station, before darkness fell. This serves as a timely reminder to ensure the correct equipment is carried and worn when taking to the water.”

For Finlo, the evening also marked his 300th call out. Finlo who is a Professor at the Scottish Association of Marine Science, has been a volunteer for Oban lifeboat for nearly 20 years and serves as crew and one of our deputy coxswains.

When asked about his time onboard, Finlo said “I've been fortunate to sail with many experienced and knowledgeable crew. Always learning things every time we go to sea, even after 300 shouts."

Our thanks go to Finlo for his continued dedication to our station. He’s one of thousands of volunteers around the country who drop everything at a moments notice to answer the call of their pager.

RNLI/Leonie Mead

Oban RNLI deputy coxswain Finlo Cottier

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.

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