Islay RNLI launch 3 times in 27 hours

Lifeboats News Release

Islay RNLI’s volunteer crew had a busy time this week with three launches within 27 hours of each other; one north of the island, another to the south and the last to the neighbouring island of Jura.

The Islay lifeboat launching from Port Askaig

RNLI/Gary Turnbull

The Islay lifeboat launching from Port Askaig

The first at 11.27am yesterday (Wednesday 11th August) was to an activated EPIRB (Emergency position indicating radio beacon) between Colonsay and Mull. The EPIRB had activated, automatically alerting the Coastguard.

The Coastguard UK search and rescue helicopter was on scene as the Helmut Schroder of Dunlossit II made way towards the vessel. The Coastguard winch operator was able to board the vessel and confirmed all was well with the two persons on board. The RNLI lifeboat was stood down at 12.00pm and returned to Port Askaig where she was ready for service again by 1.05pm.

A second shout came into the station for the volunteer crew to assemble. They were tasked to launch at 8:10pm to a becalmed yacht off the south of Islay with a fouled prop. Having made good speed to the casualty vessel the coxswain assessed the situation and the decision was made to tow the yacht to the nearest safe and suitable port, Port Ellen. The Port Ellen Coastguard Rescue Team were on scene to assist in finding a suitable berth and helped safely secure the casualty vessel.

The lifeboat returned to Port Askaig, where once refuelled she was ready for service again by 11.45pm.

The third shout, today (Thursday 12th August) at 2.38pm, was to the east coast of Islay’s neighbouring isle of Jura. A call came to launch to the assistance of a yacht dragging anchor with a fouled prop in Craighouse bay. With heavy rain squalls and thunder heard overhead the lifeboat made way to the yacht. On scene the decision was made to tow into the bay where the Jura Coastguard team were on hand to assist the RNLI lifeboat with securing the vessel.

Back in Port Askaig the boat was ready for service again at 5.13pm.

RNLI Media Contacts

For further information, please contact:

Kate Hannett, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for Islay RNLI on 07415 599194 or email

Martin Macnamara, Regional Media Officer (Scotland), 07920 365929 or

Gemma McDonald, Regional Media Manager (Scotland), 07826 900639 or

RNLI Press Office 01202 336789 or

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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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