Lochaber sailing club pushes the boat out

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Members of Lochaber Yacht Club came to the rescue of some of the unlucky travellers on Sunday who found themselves stranded in snarled-up coaches and cars on one of the warmest days of the year.

The congestion was caused by police diversions as a result of an incident in Fort William.

On what proved to be one of the busiest and most pleasant Fort William days out on Loch Linnhe, sailors from the club were running the second day of their special weekend event, titled Pushed the Boat Out, as part of the Royal Yachting Association’s UK-wide initiative to introduce people to watersports.

In addition to all the sailing activities, which attracted lots of people wanting to try their hand at sailing in a dinghy or a yacht, a large number of sea kayaks paddled past the clubhouse on their way to Fort William.

The RNLI lifeboat came up from Oban for a visit and there was also a group of visiting jet-skiers who arrived from the south. All in all, it was a very busy afternoon for marine tourism.

On Sunday, many more people had planned to go along for a sailing experience, but the diversions on the A82 due to the police operation prevented many from getting to the shore.

‘Unexpectedly, a large number of people from coaches and cars who were stuck in the long queues of traffic, unable to go anywhere all afternoon, began arriving at the sailing club to see what was going on,’ said the yacht club this week.

‘As a result, some of these stranded visitors got a free sailing or powerboat experience on Loch Linnhe.

‘Seen from the loch, the ben was spectacular in the warm sunshine and could not have looked more impressive.’

Over the two afternoons of Saturday and Sunday, 79 members of the public got on the water thanks to 37 club members who provided the boats, burgers, safety equipment, expertise and enthusiasm for sailing.

People from across the globe, including Australia, Estonia, Austria, Germany and an entire family from India can now say they received the Fort William outdoor experience.

Anyone interested in learning to sail, crew a powerboat or make new friends is welcome to come down to Lochaber Yacht Club on Achintore Road any Thursday evening throughout the summer.

To find out more visit www.lochaber-yacht-club.co.uk