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Two long shouts for Oban lifeboat

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteer RNLI crew of Oban lifeboat have this week been involved in two lengthy call-outs keeping them at sea for over 20 hours and taking them to the furthest reaches of Oban's operational area.

A drone image of the 64 metre cargo vessel being escorted to safety by the Oban lifeboat.

RNLI/Stephen Lawson

The 64 metre cargo vessel was escorted to safety by the Oban lifeboat.

Yesterday (Thursday) Oban lifeboat was paged shortly after 12:30pm to go to the aid of a 16 metre fishing boat that had suffered engine failure between the Ross of Mull and Colonsay.

Once underway, it became clear that the vessel was unsure of its exact position, which was only established after the casualty was located by an RAF maritime surveillance aircraft operating in the area.

The new position placed the fishing boat south of Dubh Artach Lighthouse, some 18 miles further south than initially reported – well into the operational area covered by Oban’s RNLI colleagues on Islay. Following discussions with the Islay lifeboat coxswain, it was agreed that the Oban team should continue on to aid the casualty while Islay would be on standby to provide cover for the southern part of Oban's area.

After Oban lifeboat arrived on scene at 2:50pm, it was decided that the best and safest option was to bring the broken down fishing boat under tow to Oban as no closer safe haven was equipped to repair the vessel.

However, due to difficult sea conditions, the 45 nautical mile distance to Oban could only be undertaken at around 6 knots, meaning that it took some nine hours to reach Oban, shortly before midnight.

Two days previously, on Tuesday (1 August), Oban lifeboat worked alongside Islay RNLI to bring a much larger vessel to safety.

Stornoway coastguard tasked Oban's volunteer crew with taking over the escort of a 64 metre cargo vessel that had gone aground on the south coast of Jura earlier that morning and was being shadowed by Islay’s lifeboat on the first stage of a journey to Corpach near Fort William.

An escort was required because there was the potential that the vessel had been damaged when it went aground, and a high risk of it requiring immediate assistance.

Oban lifeboat took over the escort at 12:21pm just west of the Garvellachs, arriving at Corpach at 6.20pm. Once the vessel was secured alongside the pier there, Oban Lifeboat stood down, arriving back at Oban at 8pm.

These were the 34th and 35th ‘shouts’ for Oban’s lifeboat, the Mora Edith MacDonald and her crew, since the beginning of the year.

Note to Editors

Oban is a busy station serving one of the largest stretches of coastline in the UK, flanked by RNLI colleagues based at Tobermory, Islay and Campbeltown.

The Oban volunteer crew operate the Trent Class All Weather lifeboat Mora Edith MacDonald from our base at the South Pier on Gallanach Road, close to the CalMac ferry terminal.

RNLI Media Contacts

For further information, please contact:

John Macgill Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for Oban RNLI on 07711 548672 or email [email protected]

Natasha Bennett, Regional Media Officer (Scotland), on 07826 900639 [email protected]

Martin Macnamara, Regional Media Manager (Scotland), on 07920 365929 or [email protected]

RNLI Press Office 01202 336789 or [email protected]

An image taken from the land of the 64 metre cargo vessel being escorted to safety by the Oban lifeboat.

RNLI/Stephen Lawson

The 64 metre cargo vessel was escorted to safety by the Oban lifeboat.

Marine Traffic

Tracking image from Tuesday's escort operation

Marine Traffic

Tracking image from Thursday's operation taking the crew far south of Dubh Artach Lighthouse

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.