Campbeltown RNLI receives £400 donation in memory of diver, Allan Sample

Lifeboats News Release

A £400 donation has been generously gifted to Campbeltown RNLI from the family and friends of Allan Sample, a man who loved diving in Kintyre.

L-R Marjorie Leighton, Richie Douglas, Michael Warburton, Phil Hendy, David Kay, Steven Eke, David Halliday and Michael Preece

RNLI/Marjorie Leighton

Marjorie Leighton receiving the £400 donation at the memorial bench at Pennyseorach.

The Campbeltown Lifeboat Station has been presented with a donation of £400 in memory of Allan Sample, who was a lover of the town and keen diver in the local area.

Alan, also known as Sammy, started coming to Campbeltown in the late 70’s with his friend Geoff Cobb who had family in the area. He was interested in all aspects of maritime shipping and was a keen diver, especially around shipwrecks.

He became friends with Archie McArthur, also known as Bailey, who was a member of the Campbeltown Lifeboat Station and through him, Alan started to learn more about the wrecks in the area and where they may be located.

Alan often visited the area, where he would dive and locate wrecks. He was a member of The Ashington Sub Aqua Club and in the early 1990's, he brought 12 to 15 members of the club with him. They would have an annual week-long diving visit in May or June and in later years, they would visit for the music festival.

Sammy’s love of diving and Campbeltown also extended to his talent as an artist, painting numerous pictures of ships, one of which is in The Dellwood Hotel, with another in The Davaar Bar for many years.

When in Campbeltown, the Ashington Boys/Geordie Divers, as they became known, teamed up with Donald Fairgray, Calum Buchanan and the Campbeltown Sub Aqua club searching for more wrecks and treasure.

They based themselves at first in Campbeltown, then Dunaverty and in recent years at Pennyseorach Farm with fellow divers, Terry and Linda Smith, with views over their favourite dive sites.

It was here in Campbeltown Loch last year that Sammy suffered a fatal heart attack while diving The Breda. At this most devastating time, his fellow divers were supported by Campbeltown lifeboat crew, with Sammy’s family urging any donations made at Sammy’s funeral were to be split between the local Newbiggin Lifeboat and Campbeltown Lifeboat, a cause very close to his heart.

Sammy was a much-respected diver, friend and ‘father figure’, not only to his fellow Geordie divers, but to many people in Campbeltown who knew him. His family visited Campbeltown not long after the tragedy and were overwhelmed by the kindness shown to them and realised why Sammy loved the town so much.

His fellow divers have since erected a memorial bench at Pennyseorach and it was here that the cheque presentation to the lifeboat took place.

Ruaridh McAulay, Campbeltown RNLI Coxswain said: ‘Once again, all at Campbeltown Lifeboat Station would like to pass on our deepest condolences to Mr Sample’s family. We would like to thank everyone involved in raising this incredible sum of money and choosing to donate it to the RNLI Campbeltown Lifeboat Station. Without donations like this, we could not continue with our role of saving lives at sea.’


RNLI media contacts

Carla Jackson, Lifeboat Press Officer, 07821409553, [email protected]

Natasha Bennett, RNLI Regional Media Officer for Scotland, 07826 900639,

Martin Macnamara, RNLI Regional Media Manager for Scotland, 07920 365929, [email protected]

RNLI Press Office, 01202 336789

Allan sitting on the sponson of a diving boat having a drink, close to Sanda Island

RNLI/Marjorie Leighton

Allan diving near Sanda Island, Kintyre
A hand painting of a tall ship by Allan Sample

RNLI/Marjorie Leighton

One of Allan's paintings

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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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