Drifting yacht helped to safety by off duty Oban RNLI crew members

Lifeboats News Release

Oban RNLI lifeboat was requested to launch this evening (Saturday 28 August) to assist a yacht with engine difficulty in Oban bay.

RNLI/Leonie Mead

The yacht with four persons onboard was already being assisted by Oban RNLI volunteer crew members Andrew and Leonie Mead.

The couple were returning home from a sail onboard their own sailing boat ‘Snowgoose’, when they noticed a yacht drifting between Maiden island and the Dunollie shore. It soon became clear that the vessel was experiencing engine difficulty and one person had taken to their dinghy to try and tow it.

Andrew, who is also a deputy mechanic for the lifeboat, said “The yacht was very close to running aground on submerged rocks and the Isle of Mull ferry was fast approaching the bay. We dropped our own sails and went over to offer assistance.”

The couple towed the yacht to the safety of Oban bay, where they were met by fellow crew members onboard Oban lifeboat who took over the tow and safely berthed the yacht alongside the North Pier pontoons with the assistance of Oban’s Coastguard Rescue Team.

Andrew continued “We just happened to be in the right place at the right time and were happy to be able to help. Luckily the weather was favourable but any stronger winds could have made this a very different situation.”

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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