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Oban RNLI lifeboat rescues motor vessel from the Falls of Lora

Lifeboats News Release

This afternoon Oban RNLI lifeboat Mora Edith MacDonald was launched immediately at 4:55pm at the request of Stornoway coastguard to a motor vessel with one person on board, who was reported to be in serious trouble directly under the Connel Bridge.

The lifeboat made best speed towards the vessel and arrived within fifteen minutes to find that the vessel’s skipper had managed to deploy his anchor in the very strong currents on the flood spring tide. Fortunately the anchor was for the meantime holding the vessel off the rocks behind.  The Falls of Lora are a spectacular set of overfalls at the mouth of Loch Etive where tides are frequently recorded at around ten knots, this equates to a movement of 4,600 tonnes of water per second at peak flow rate, with a drop of 1.2 metres.

Oban lifeboat managed to manoeuvre upstream of the casualty and get a tow line aboard for the skipper to attach.  Once the tow was attached the skipper then had to cut his own anchor line as the lifeboat took up the slack and proceeded to tow the vessel out of the strong current to safety.  The skipper was seen to be bleeding from an injury to one hand sustained whilst deploying his anchor, so our crew doctor attended to him whilst his boat was placed back on his mooring.  Once the vessel was secured the casualty was then taken back to the Lifeboat to station where at 6:12pm he was transferred by our doctor to hospital for further assessment and treatment.

RNLI media contacts

Iain Fulton, Oban Lifeboat Press Officer on 01631 710001 or 07855 555539

Richard Smith, RNLI Public Relations Manager for Scotland, 07786 668903.

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.

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