Tobermory RNLI in multi-vessel search for missing diver

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Following a ‘Mayday’ distress call at 2.25pm on Wednesday (February 20), Tobermory RNLI’s Severn class all weather lifeboat, Elizabeth Fairlie Ramsey, was launched in search of a missing diver.

On route to the last reported position of the diver in the Sound of Mull, Tobermory’s volunteer crew were tasked by Stornoway Coastguard to be the ‘on scene co-ordinator’ of a multi-vessel search.

Tobermory RNLI was joined by Oban RNLI lifeboat as well as three Caledonian MacBrayne ferries, local work boats, Scottish Sea Farm and Inverlussa boats, a dive vessel and the UK Coastguard search-and-rescue helicopter from Prestwick, Rescue 199. In all, more than 14 vessels responded to the distress call and their search efforts were co-ordinated by Tobermory RNLI.

As the search was under way, Stornoway Coastguard reported that the diver had been found safe and well by Tobermory and Craignure Coastguard Rescue Teams. Tobermory RNLI lifeboat stood down the search vessels and returned to Tobermory where the lifeboat was refuelled and made ready for service shortly after 4.30pm.

Tobermory RNLI Coxswain David McHaffie said: ‘This was a tremendous response from local vessels of all shapes and sizes to the distress call. We’d like to thank everyone involved for their contribution. We’re pleased to hear that the diver was found safe and well and required no further assistance.’

Just two days later, on Friday (February 22), the Tobermory crew launched just before 10am to go to the assistance of a local creel boat with mechanical difficulties off Kilmory on the northern coast of the Ardnamurchan peninsular.

The creel boat’s crew had managed to secure the vessel to a fleet of creels and this together with the offshore south easterly F5/6 wind meant that she was not in imminent danger of drifting onto the shore.

On arriving on the scene, the volunteer crew swiftly passed a tow rope to the fishing boat. A long stern tow was established and the creel boat was taken to Tobermory in two metre seas. Once at the mouth of Tobermory Bay, the lifeboat crew put the creel boat under an alongside tow and she was put safely alongside the pontoons. The lifeboat returned to her berth where she was refuelled and made ready for service at 2.40pm.