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Farewell to Mora Edith

Lifeboats News Release

When the new Shannon class lifeboat took over this week, it brought to an end nearly 27 years of service to the maritime, coastal and island communities from Oban by the Trent class Mora Edith MacDonald.

The Trent class Mora Edith MacDonald heading away from the camera in dwindling light

RNLI/Stephen Lawson

The Mora Edith MacDonald on a past night time shout

The vessel first went into service at the end of July 1997 and has spent over 2,700 hours at sea on emergency service as its crew responded to first the maroons and then their pagers on 1,510 occasions. The vessel has covered some 27,500 nautical miles on operations.

Many of the 107 lives saved by the Oban-based crews have been on shouts on the Mora Edith MacDonald.

Two of the four babies born to Mull mothers as they were being transferred from Craignure to Oban, were on Mora Edith; the others on relief lifeboats stationed at Oban while she was away for maintenance.

Over the years, 73 people have volunteered as crewmen and women on Mora Edith: the current crew of 25 stepping into the yellow wellies of 48 others – many of those people having moved across from seagoing duties to take up roles as operations managers, deputy launch authorities and fundraisers.

One of the reasons that the continuing support of all those who give to the RNLI is so important is the ongoing cost of operations.

On average, 297 litres of fuel were used each shout on the Mora Edith. One long, slow tow of a broken down fishing boat from Torran rocks to Oban in the summer of 2018, used up 1,600 litres.

The busiest day for the Oban lifeboat turned out to be in a week where the Mora Edith MacDonald was away for servicing and a relief Trent was on station.

On the 30th April 2011, the crew responded to five calls back to back: a medical evacuation from Kerrera was followed by a call to take a broken down RIB off Colonsay to safety before the crew were called to join the search for a missing man from a capsized rowing boat on Loch Etive. From there the crew were called away to reports of people in the water from a capsized kayak at Duart before going back to Loch Etive. The crew returned to station a few minutes short of 13 hours after they first launched, having covered 139 nautical miles.

The Mora Edith MacDonald is expected to leave Oban in the coming weeks and join the relief fleet to be deployed elsewhere across the RNLI’s network of lifeboat stations around the coasts of the UK and Ireland.

Information supplied by Colin Wilson, station archivist and former member of the seagoing crew.

A Coastguard helicopter hovers over the wake of the moving lifeboat

RNLI/Stephen Lawson

Mora Edith MacDonald on operations with the HM Coastguard search and rescue helicopter
The Trent class lifeboat passes underneath the Connel Bridge at Connel near Oban

RNLI/Stephen Lawson

The crew navigating Mora Edith MacDonald through the Falls of Lora and Connel

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.