Oban lifeboat station has busy weekend

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From 6pm on Friday evening until 7am on Sunday morning Oban Lifeboat was involved in three call outs in addition to hosting the annual open day at the Lifeboat Station on Gallanach Road.

Volunteers spent around eight hours at sea over the weekend and a further four hours showing members of the public the valuable work they do at the open day.

At 6.10pm on Friday evening, Oban RNLI Lifeboat Mora Edith MacDonald was called out to Glensanda Quarry to provide medical assistance and transfer of an employee to Oban. All lifeboat stations have a doctor who works alongside the crew known as a LMA.

However, in Oban this role is carried out by one of our crew who is also a local GP. As such, Oban Lifeboat is able to offer medical assistance to a higher level than would otherwise be possible. The crew was therefore able to provide excellent casualty care throughout the incident.

Upon arrival at Glensanda Quarry the person in need of medical assistance was transferred to the lifeboat and transferred back to Oban where he was passed into the care of a waiting ambulance which subsequently transferred him to Oban, Lorn and the Isles Hospital for further treatment. The lifeboat was then ready for service again by 7.40pm.

The next morning the crew were back at the station bright and early to make the station and lifeboat ready for the annual open day. This year the team had a number of activities and fun events organised which made the day a great success and managed to raise a fantastic £3,281 to help fund the valuable lifesaving work carried out at Oban.

A spokesperson said: ‘We would like to express our specific thanks to the following people who all helped to make the day the great success that it was, Oban Coastguard Rescue Team, Oban Fire and Rescue, Marks and Spencer, George Berry and Oban High School Pipe Band.

‘We would also like to thank the large number of people who took the time to provide homebaking and plants to sell, and also the members of our fantastic fundraising team without whom the Open Day would not have taken place. We look forward to seeing you all there again next year.’

Following the conclusion of the Open Day at 3pm, the volunteer crew spent time getting everything cleaned and ensuring the boat was ready for her next call out.

This happened only a short time later when at 6.30pm the lifeboat launched to assist a yacht with engine failure (see video). The skipper of the yacht had alerted the UK Coastguard that they were adrift to the west of the Isle of Kerrera and getting close to the shore. Upon arrival, a lifeboat crew member was put onboard the yacht to secure a tow line which was then used to take the yacht to Oban Marina. The lifeboat returned to station by 8pm.

Less than six hours after the leaving the station, after what had already been a busy day, the crew were woken by the sound of their pagers at 1.50am. The UK Coastguard had received a request for the support of the lifeboat in the search for a missing person near Fort William.

The lifeboat launched at 2am and headed to the Corran Narrows to commence a search pattern working as far north as Fort William. In addition to the lifeboat, the search also involved local Coastguard Rescue teams, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Water Rescue Unit, and Coastguard Rescue Helicopter 151 from Inverness.

After completing this search pattern the lifeboat was tasked to continue the search around the Corpach area into Loch Eil. With nothing found, the lifeboat was stood down and returned to Oban at 7.10am on Sunday morning.

For a report and photographs from the Open Day, see this week’s Oban Times.