Oban RNLI launch on service twice in one evening.

Lifeboats News Release

Oban RNLI Lifeboat was tasked twice yesterday evening, Friday 18 August at 6.35pm to reports of two kayakers in the water of Fidden on the Ross of Mull and again at 8.36pm to a yacht with engine failure outside the entrance to Oban bay.

Oban Lifeboat

RNLI/Stephen Lawson

Library image of Oban Lifeboat returning to station

Oban lifeboat was tasked by HM Coastguard at 6:35pm on Friday 18 August for an immediate launch following reports to Stornoway Coastguard of two kayakers struggling in the water after their kayak capsized of Fidden campsite on the Ross of Mull.

Despite being a 90-minute transit time to the casualties, Oban’s Trent class all-weather lifeboat was the closest Search and Rescue asset available to assist HM Coastguard as their rescue helicopters were all on other taskings.

The volunteer crew of the Mora Edith MacDonald was underway in eight minutes from being paged and started making best speed to location on the Ross of Mull.

Shortly after launching at 7:05pm confirmation was received from HM Coastguard that the two kayakers had made it safely to shore and were being assisted by the Ross of Mull Coastguard rescue team.

At this point Oban RNLI was stood down and returned to station and made ready for further service at 7:45pm.

At 8:26pm, less than one hour after finishing the previous service Oban RNLI were tasked again by HM Coastguard, this time to go to the assistance of a yacht suffering engine failure and struggling in the increasingly freshening easterly wind to make it into the shelter of Oban harbour.

Their reported position was 1.5 nautical miles outside the north entrance to Oban Bay. The Trent class lifeboat departed her berth at 8:47pm and once clear of the north entrance it was discovered that due to the strengthening easterly wind the yacht had travelled further than the reported position and was in fact approximately 5 nautical miles south-west from the entrance to Oban Bay.

One on scene the volunteer crew deemed the safest way to assist the yacht was to tow them to the shelter of the Oban north pier pontoons. Once the tow was set a course was made towards the west side of Mull to try and gain some shelter from the island as the wind was gusting 55 knots (63 mph) with a moderate to rough sea state.

Shortly after starting the tow, the casualty vessel reported to the volunteer crew of the Mora Edith MacDonald that they were taking on a considerable amount of water. The lifeboat slowed and shortened the tow and prepared their portable salvage pump should it be required.

After discussion with the crew of the casualty vessel it was determined that their bilge pumps were coping with the water ingress and the tow to Oban Bay could be resumed.

Once in the shelter of Oban Bay at 10:40pm the casualty vessel was brought alongside the lifeboat and two of the volunteer crew were transferred to the yacht with the salvage pump to assess the water ingress.

It was soon established that the water was entering the yacht from a split in the vessels exhaust system that exited the yacht below the waterline. The lifeboat crew members made a temporary fix to stop the water entering the vessel until the owner was able to carry out repairs the following morning.

With everyone safe and well Oban lifeboat returned to station at 11:26pm.

If you see someone in trouble at the coast, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.

Know what to do – visit https://rnli.org/safety

Notes to Editor

The RNLI is the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

Picture credit: RNLI/Stephen Lawson

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.

Picture Caption: Library image

Photo credit: RNLI/Stephen Lawson

RNLI Media Contacts

For further information, please contact:

Stephen Lawson, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for Oban RNLI on 07776 340629 or email [email protected]

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 or [email protected]

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

RNLI Press Office 01202 336789 or [email protected]

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

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.