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Tobermory RNLI marks lifeboat 20th birthday with four shouts in 36 hours

Lifeboats News Release

Tobermory RNLI marked the 20th anniversary of the arrival of its Severn Class lifeboat Elizabeth Fairlie Ramsey with four shouts in 36 hours.

Arrival of Tobermory RNLI's Severn Class 'Elizabeth Fairlie Ramsey' escorted by Arun Class 'Anne Lewis Fraser' in August 2003


Arrival of Tobermory RNLI's Severn Class 'Elizabeth Fairlie Ramsey' escorted by Arun Class 'Anne Lewis Fraser' in August 2003
During West Highland Yachting Week 2003, Tobermory RNLI's previous Arun Class lifeboat, Anne Lewis Fraser, led the station's brand new Severn Class lifeboat, Elizabeth Fairlie Ramsey, into Tobermory Bay for the first time. Fast forward to West Highland Yachting Week twenty years later and Tobermory RNLI's volunteer crew marked the anniversary of the lifeboat's arrival by responding to four 'shouts' in 36 hours, travelling more than 90 miles including two passages to the Isle of Coll and back.

At 16:58 on Tuesday 1 August 2023, Tobermory RNLI was tasked to assist a 43 foot yacht with engine failure at the north end of the Sound of Mull. The yacht had four adults and four children on board, representing three generations of the same family. Having assessed the situation, the lifeboat crew passed a tow to the yacht and recovered her safely to Tobermory harbour, in the company of a small pod of dolphins.

At 1400 the following afternoon, Tobermory's volunteer crew were tasked to go to the aid of a person with a serious ankle injury on an outcrop close to Ardnamurchan lighthouse. Two volunteer crew gave casualty care and the person was evacuated by the UK Coastguard's search and rescue helicopter based at Inverness, Rescue 151. This was the first launch for new crew member, Sharyn Murray, who had received her pager for the first time just the previous evening.

Whilst at the scene, the lifeboat was tasked to respond to the report of another injured person, this time on board a yacht at Arinagour on the Isle of Coll. The person had sustained a serious hand injury. Again crew members gave casualty care until the person was airlifted by the UK Coastguard's search and rescue helicopter, Rescue 199 from Prestwick. Once the person had been safely evacuated, the crew were able to welcome some local children aboard the lifeboat for an impromptu tour and they also met Alex Page, a Coll coastguard officer who recently kayaked around the islands of Coll and Tiree to fundraise for Tobermory RNLI lifeboat. The crew were able to thank Alex in person for the £3,146 he has already raised to help kit out and train a new lifeboat crew member at Tobermory.

The volunteer crew returned home to get some well earned rest, however it was not to be and the pagers sounded again at 01:45 on 3 August 2023. The lifeboat was tasked to return to Coll where the family of the injured person aboard the yacht had become concerned that their mooring was dragging in windy conditions. The lifeboat crew secured the yacht and took the family to Tobermory to stay for the night.

Tobermory RNLI Coxswain David McHaffie said: 'We certainly marked our Severn Class lifeboat's 20th anniversary with a momentous 36 hours. We would like to thank the fishing boat who assisted the yacht during our first shout as well as the crews of the coastguard helicopters from Inverness and Prestwick. All of us at the station send our best wishes to those involved and that they have a speedy recovery from their injuries. We were also pleased to be able to meet up with Alex and welcome the local Coll children on board the lifeboat. We will be holding our Lifeboat Day on Sunday 13 August 2023 and we look forward to welcoming locals and visitors alike to explore the lifeboat and to meet the crew'.

Notes to editors

The photograph shows Tobermory RNLI's previous Arun Class lifeboat, Anne Lewis Fraser, leading the station's new Severn Class lifeboat, Elizabeth Fairlie Ramsey, into Tobermory Bay for the first time during West Highland Yachting Week in 2003.

RNLI media contacts

Dr Sam Jones, Tobermory RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer and Lifeboat Operations Manager on 07747601900 or [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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