Trio of tasks for Tobermory lifeboat crew

Rescue 151 preparing to winch casualty from Staffa. Photograph: RNLI/Simon Waller.

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Tobermory RNLI’s volunteer crew responded to three back-to-back callouts on Wednesday (June 11), covering a distance of more than 100 miles across a wide geographical area.

Tobermory RNLI’s Severn class lifeboat, Elizabeth Fairlie Ramsey, was launched shortly after midday to the aid of a 10-metre fishing vessel with two persons onboard that had lost power to the south of Crossapol Bay on the island of Coll, 25 miles from Tobermory.

Once on scene, a tow was established and the vessel was taken towards Arinagour, Coll.

En route to Arinagour, the all-weather lifeboat was once again tasked by the UK Coastguard to assist with the evacuation of a person with leg injuries who had fallen on the remote island of Staffa.

Due to the inaccessibility of the location of the casualty, the Coll Coastguard Rescue Team and Coastguard helicopter, Rescue 151, were also called upon.

The lifeboat continued to Arinagour where the fishing vessel was secured alongside the pier and members of the Coll coastguard team collected.

The lifeboat and coastguard team proceeded to Staffa and stood by as Rescue 151 winched the casualty to safety from the entrance to Fingal’s Cave and subsequently transferred them to hospital.

Having returned to Tobermory and refuelled the volunteer crew were washing down the lifeboat when the third request of the day came in from the UK Coastguard, almost exactly six hours after the pagers first sounded.

The lifeboat proceeded to Loch Sunart where two persons had requested assistance when their six metre RIB suffered engine failure a short distance from their starting point.

The RIB was towed by the lifeboat to Salen Pier and recovered to the pontoons.

Third mechanic Tony ‘Kiwi’ Spillane said: ‘This was a classic example of the unpredictability of the lifeboat service.

‘When the volunteer crew respond to their pagers, it is never certain how the day will turn out.’