Oban RNLI respond to Mayday call to sinking fishing vessel

Lifeboats News Release

Oban RNLI lifeboat crew responded in the early hours of this morning (Thursday 8 September) to assist a commercial fishing boat that had sent out a Mayday distress call.

Library image of Oban lifeboat heading out of Oban bay

RNLI/Stephen Lawson

Stock image of lifeboat heading out from Oban

The volunteer crew were paged by Stornoway Coastguard at 2.58am after they had received a Mayday call sent out from a 12-metre commercial fishing vessel reported to be taking on water and sinking on the west side of Lismore Island.

The Oban RNLI lifeboat, Mora Edith MacDonald, launched on service at 3.08am and made best speed to the casualty vessel's location.

When on route to the casualty’s position, an update from Stornoway Coastguard was received advising that the two persons on board could not stop the ingress of water and were preparing to abandon ship. At 3.35am the crew of the fishing vessel abandoned the sinking vessel for the safety of their life raft.

The volunteer crew arrived on scene at 3.44am and quickly located the life raft with the two casualties safely in it.

The life raft was brought alongside Oban lifeboat and the two persons were brought aboard.

Once checked over, assessed and found to be in good health, and with nothing further to be done with regards to the vessel, the lifeboat returned to Oban with the two casualties onboard arriving back at the Station at 4.30am.

Speaking after the rescue Coxswain Ally Cerexhe, said: ‘It is always sad to see the loss of any boat, especially a commercial vessel that people's livelihoods depend on. However, in this case the situation could have had an even worse outcome. This shows that the two fishermen, having the correct means of calling for help, fully functioning survival equipment and the knowledge of how to use it all, lead to their quick and successful rescue’.

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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