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Tobermory RNLI launches to aground dive vessel

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteer crew were tasked by the UK Coastguard shortly before midday on Monday 4 September to the stricken boat at the entrance to Loch Sunart.

The dive vessel aground


The dive vessel aground
The boat had run aground on the rocks of Sligneach Mòr, 2.7 nautical miles to the northeast of Tobermory, on a rapidly falling tide. Two fish farm boats working on nearby Mowi sites also responded and provided assistance, in addition to a small local fishing boat and a pleasure craft who stood by ready to provide assistance if needed.

It was quickly established that due the rapidly falling tide the dive boat would not be refloated until the evening. With this, the decision was made to take all the non-essential persons off the boat. This was done with the help of one of the Mowi work boats who then transferred 11 divers on to the Tobermory all-weather lifeboat. As the lifeboat crew helped the divers to get comfortable and gave them drinks, the fish farm boat went in again and helped the dive boat crew to set the anchor, secure the vessel and then evacuated the remaining three people from the grounded vessel.

A plan was made to attend and oversee the refloating of the dive boat a few hours later on a rising tide. The divers and crew were taken to Tobermory for the afternoon and given use of the RNLI building to relax in. The lifeboat relaunched at 6pm with four people from the dive boat onboard, who were transferred to the grounded vessel by the Y boat (the lifeboat’s daughter craft) and began to prepare for refloating. The two Mowi boats again came to the assistance of the dive boat securing lines and positioning themselves to minimise any rolling motion as the vessel started to refloat.

Once the boat was refloated and checked over for damage, she was able to make her way back to Tobermory under her own power with the lifeboat escorting. The lifeboat returned to her berth and was made ready for service by 9pm.

Coxswain David McHaffie said: ‘We would like to extend our gratitude to all vessels who responded to offer assistance during this service. The crew of vessels Sarah Ann and Beinn Mowi were exceptionally helpful in attending to the casualty vessel and took time out of their working day and beyond to assist us.’

Tobermory lifeboat station is currently recruiting for volunteer crew. Pop into the station for an informal chat if you want to find out more about helping to save lives at sea at your local station. More information about the role can be found here:

RNLI media contacts

Leanne Blair, Tobermory RNLI Volunteer Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer on 07711549609 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

Mowi workboats Beinn Mowi (left) and Sarah Ann (right) assisting Tobermory lifeboat


Mowi workboats Beinn Mowi (left) and Sarah Ann (right) assisting Tobermory lifeboat
Dive vessel returning to Tobermory at sunset


Dive vessel returning to Tobermory at sunset

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.