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Father-son duo follow a long family tradition at Tobermory RNLI lifeboat station

Lifeboats News Release

Growing up with Tobermory RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew as almost a second family, the 18-year-old son of Station Mechanic, Paul ‘Gunny’ Gunn, is one of Tobermory RNLI’s newest crew members.

RNLI/David McHaffie

Bobby MacLeod Gunn looking to keep the RNLI in the family

Bobby MacLeod Gunn, who has just finished school, joined the lifeboat crew on the Isle of Mull earlier this year following in the footsteps of not only his father, who joined in 2010, but also his grandfather and great-grandfather.

Bobby’s great-grandfather Bobby MacLeod was on the crew in the 1940s and was fundamental in the re-opening of the lifeboat station in 1990.

Bobby’s grandfather and Paul’s father-in-law, Robert M. MacLeod was a mechanic on the Waveney class lifeboat when the station re-opened and later become what is now known as the lifeboat operations manager.

Both of Paul’s brothers-in-law were also volunteer crew members and he remembers being on taskings with both of them. One in particular, where all three of them were on the same shout together, making his wife very worried but he enjoyed the experience of saving lives at sea with his family.

Now that Bobby has a couple of his own shouts under his belt, Paul is convinced that his son is well looked after and supported by the crew, who have seen him grow up into the person he has become today.

Paul said: ‘He’s always jumping at the bit to get down to the station and eagerly gives up his time to attend training sessions and complete assessments. He’s been surrounded by and interested in the lifeboats from such a young age, I’m so proud that he has followed in mine and his grandfathers’ footsteps.’

With Paul planning on completing training to become Coxswain and Bobby with no plans to step down from the volunteer crew anytime soon, the family affair will hopefully continue for many years to come.

As a charity, the RNLI relies heavily on volunteers, like Paul and Bobby, who dedicate their time to help save lives at sea.


RNLI media contacts

Claire Thomson, RNLI Media Engagement Placement (Scotland), 07929 673286, [email protected]

Natasha Bennett, RNLI Regional Media Officer for Scotland, 07826 900639, [email protected]

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

RNLI/Paul Gunn

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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

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