View as PDF

Rain stays off for another successful Tobermory RNLI Lifeboat Day

Lifeboats News Release

After a week of unrelenting wet and windy weather, the rain stayed away for Tobermory’s Lifeboat Day. And during the final preparations the previous evening, the volunteer crew were called away to assist a stricken yacht in the Sound of Iona.

The hardworking organisers of Tobermory RNLI’s annual Lifeboat Day were hugely relieved to awake on the morning of Sunday 14th August to find that the rain had finally stopped falling. A few hours later, there were big crowds at the event being treated to a range of stalls, games and activities – and of course, the raft race which was won this year by the Tobermory Guides. Even school children, who were no doubt dreading the new term starting in just a few days, had an opportunity to ‘sponge the teacher’ with local schoolteachers, Kirsty and Kirsten attempting to dodge the wet sponges being so enthusiastically thrown by some of their pupils.
Just a few hours previously, Tobermory RNLI's volunteer crew launched at 1811 to go to the assistance of a yacht dragging its anchor in the Bull Hole in the Sound of Iona. The yacht was unable to use its engine as it had overheated. On arrival at the scene, the yacht had managed to get underway and was heading to the shelter of Tinker's Hole. The lifeboat escorted the yacht and once it was confirmed that it was securely at anchor and the skipper was happy, the volunteer crew headed back to Tobermory where the lifeboat was refuelled and made ready for service shortly after 2200.
Tobermory RNLI Coxswain David McHaffie said: ‘We’re still gathering in the funds but over £4000 was raised to help save lives at sea. Thanks to everyone for their generosity and we hope you had as much fun as we did. Thanks too to all the stall holders, businesses and individuals who so kindly donated prizes and things to sell, as well as to our colleagues from the Fire Brigade and Tobermory Coastguard who attended with their equipment and also to our hosts, the Tobermory Harbour Association. We’re also grateful yet again to Alasdair McCrone and Alasdair Satchell for their witty and energetic commentary. Finally, we'd also like to thank our RNLI shop volunteers who took more than £700 on the day and particularly our amazing Fundraising Branch who have been working and planning hard behind the scenes for many months to ensure that today was a huge success.’
Notes to editors
The photograph shows Tobermory RNLI Coxswain David McHaffie with local teacher and Tobermory RNLI Education Officer, Kirsty Blackhall at the 'sponge the teacher' stall. Please credit RNLI/Sam Jones.
For further information, please contact Sam Jones, Deputy Launching Authority and Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer on 07747601900 or email

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland