Tobermory RNLI launches after sighting of suspected flare

Lifeboats News Release

Tobermory’s all-weather lifeboat was tasked late last night to investigate a report made to the UK Coastguard of a flare seen in the Sound of Mull

Tobermory lifeboat leaving berth under full moon

RNLI/Iain Ogg Mackenzie

Tobermory lifeboat leaving berth under full moon

The pagers sounded shortly after 11.30pm on Sunday 22 August 2021 and the volunteer crew launched the lifeboat within minutes. They proceeded down the Sound of Mull on calm seas and under a full moon to Lochaline where a search was undertaken; starting at Ardtornish Point, and covering Inninmore Bay, the small islands in the sound (‘Glas Eileanan’) and Scallastle Bay. Lochaline Coastguard Rescue Team were also tasked to look out from the mainland.

With nothing untoward found, the lifeboat was stood down and returned to her berth where she was refuelled and made ready for service by 2.30am.

Subsequently, several reports were made on social media from various locations on the west coast of Scotland of sightings of a probable meteor at around 11pm. It is possible that this was mistaken for a flare.

Deputy Second Coxswain Dave Underwood said: ‘we believe this was a false alarm with good intent, but we would always err on the side of caution when reports like this are made. The member of the public did exactly the right thing by calling 999 and asking for the Coastguard in this instance. The crew turnout when the pagers sounded was fantastic, including new crew member Lenny who went on his first shout.’

For further information, please contact

Leanne Blair, Tobermory RNLI Volunteer Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer on 07711549609 or

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

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

Notes to editors; Tobermory RNLI are embarking on a fundraising challenge during the month of Augst in place of Lifeboat Day. More information:

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