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Tobermory RNLI lifeboat in late night five hour, 70 mile ‘shout’ to yacht

Lifeboats News Release

Tobermory RNLI’s volunteer crew had a late night ‘shout’ to a yacht in difficulty north of the Torran rocks off Erraid.

At 9.51pm on Friday 6th July 2018, Tobermory RNLI lifeboat was requested to launch by Stornoway Coastguard following a ‘Pan Pan’ call by the yacht which had engine problems and two persons on board. The yacht was becalmed north of the Torran rocks, an area made famous by Robert Louis Stevenson as it is where his fictional character David Balfour is shipwrecked in his classic novel ‘Kidnapped’.

On arriving at the scene shortly before midnight, one of Tobermory’s volunteer crew went on board the yacht and was able to assist the crew in restarting the engine. The lifeboat then escorted the yacht to a safe anchorage off Iona before returning to Tobermory where she was refuelled and made ready for service shortly before 3am, having spent just under five hours at sea, covering approximately 70 nautical miles.

This was the first service for Tony 'Kiwi' Spillane in his new role as one of Tobermory's mechanics. The lifeboat's mechanics are responsible for the lifeboat's engines and equipment and radio communications whilst she is at sea. Tony, who is from New Zealand originally, was passed out as a Third Mechanic in May.

Tobermory RNLI Coxswain David McHaffie said: ‘Whilst this was a reasonably long shout and we covered more than a few sea miles, the conditions were excellent. We’re pleased that we were able to assist the crew of the yacht and we wish them well for the rest of their passage.’

Notes to editors

The photographs are as follows:

The view from the flying bridge as the lifeboat escorts the yacht up the Sound of Iona (please credit RNLI/Dave Underwood)

Third Mechanic Tony 'Kiwi' Spillane (please credit RNLI/Sam Jones)

Volunteer Crew Alexander 'Wee Jock' Anderson refueling the lifeboat as dawn breaks at 2.30am (please credit RNLI/Sam Jones)

Tobermory RNLI's Lifeboat Day will take place on Sunday 12 August.

For further information, please contact Dr Sam Jones, Tobermory RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager on 07747601900 or Gemma Macdonald, Regional Media Officer for Scotland on 07826 900639.

The view from the flying bridge as the lifeboat escorts the yacht up the Sound of Iona

RNLI/Dave Underwood

The view from the flying bridge as the lifeboat escorts the yacht up the Sound of Iona
Tobermory RNLI Third Mechanic Tony 'Kiwi' Spillane

RNLI/Sam Jones

Tobermory RNLI Third Mechanic Tony 'Kiwi' Spillane
Volunteer Crew Alexander 'Wee Jock' Anderson refueling the lifeboat as dawn breaks at 2.30am

RNLI/Sam Jones

Volunteer Crew Alexander 'Wee Jock' Anderson refueling the lifeboat as dawn breaks at 2.30am
The view from the flying bridge as the lifeboat escorts the yacht up the Sound of Iona

RNLI/David McHaffie

The view from the flying bridge as the lifeboat escorts the yacht up the Sound of Iona

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 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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