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Three call outs in 36 hours for Tobermory RNLI's volunteer crew

Lifeboats News Release

Tobermory RNLI's volunteer crew have had a busy couple of days with three 'shouts' in 36 hours, including going to the aid of a woman on a yacht with a serious head injury and a search in rough weather off the Isle of Tiree..

Tobermory RNLI's newest crew member Bobby MacLeod Gunn with father Station Mechanic Paul 'Gunny' Gunn

RNLI/David McHaffie

Tobermory RNLI's newest crew member Bobby MacLeod Gunn with father Station Mechanic Paul 'Gunny' Gunn
Tobermory RNLI's volunteer crew were tasked by the UK Coastguard to go to the aid of a female crew member of a yacht with a serious head injury in the Sound of Mull on the afternoon of Tuesday 17 May 2022. As Tobermory RNLI's all-weather lifeboat, Elizabeth Fairlie Ramsey, was launched, the yacht made its way northwards up the Sound of Mull in order to rendezvous with the lifeboat as soon as possible.

On arriving at the scene, two of the lifeboat crew volunteers trained in casualty care were transferred to the yacht and quickly established that the woman's head injury was serious and that she needed to be evacuated to Oban for hospital care. The woman was then transferred along with her husband to the lifeboat. Once she had been stabilised, the lifeboat proceeded at full speed to Oban where the crew were met by Oban Coastguard Rescue Team and a paramedic. The lifeboat returned to Tobermory where it was refuelled and made ready for service by 18:00.

Tobermory RNLI's Station Coxswain David McHaffie said: 'Our crew are trained in casualty care and it is something which we practise regularly. All of us at the station send our best wishes to the lady and hope that she has a very speedy recovery'.

Just 24 hours later, Tobermory RNLI's volunteer crew responded to their pagers again when they were tasked by the UK Coastguard to assist a yacht with engine failure in the Sound of Mull. On their way to the yacht, the crew assisted the Tobermory Harbour Authority RIB which was dealing with a yacht which had broken its mooring in the strong south-easterly wind. The lifeboat quickly brought the yacht alongside the harbour pontoons before heading out to assist the yacht with engine failure. Having established an alongside tow, this yacht was also quickly brought into the safety of the pontoons.

This service to the yacht marked the first shout for Tobermory RNLI's newest volunteer crew member, Bobby MacLeod Gunn. Bobby, who is 18 years old and still at school, joined the crew earlier this year and is following in a long family tradition at Tobermory RNLI lifeboat station. Bobby's great-grandfather Bobby MacLeod, the acclaimed accordionist, was on the crew in the 1940s and was instrumental in the re-opening of the lifeboat station in 1990. Bobby's grandfather, Robert M. MacLeod was a mechanic on the Waveney class lifeboat when the station re-opened and later became the honorary secretary (now known as lifeboat operations manager). Bobby's father Paul 'Gunny' Gunn is the current station mechanic and both of Bobby's uncles, Robert Norman MacLeod and Donald MacLeod also both served on the crew for many years.

The pagers sounded yet again just before 23:00 on the evening of Wednesday 18 May following a report of a flare being sighted in Gott Bay on the Isle of Tiree. The lifeboat crew were tasked to carry out a search in conjunction with the Coastguard's search and rescue helicopter from Prestwick, Rescue 199. On arrival in Gott Bay after an 80 minute passage in rough weather with gale force winds and 2.5 to 3 metre seas, the lifeboat was stood down as the helicopter's search had revealed nothing untoward. The lifeboat returned to Tobermory where it was refuelled once again and made ready for service at 02:30.

Tobermory RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Dr Sam Jones said: 'This was a busy couple of days for our volunteers. The informant on Tiree did absolutely the right thing by calling the Coastguard. If you see anything which suggests that someone might be in trouble at sea, dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard'.

RNLI media contacts

Dr Sam Jones, Lifeboat Operations Manager and Lifeboat Press Officer, 07747601900, [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 Press Office, 01202 336789

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

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.