Lifeboat call-outs at Kyle Maritime Day highlight vital service

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Sunshine and clear skies helped draw large crowds to Kyle on Saturday for the annual RNLI’s Maritime Day which saw two of the lifeboat teams called out on duty during the celebrations.

The popular event managed to raise more than £5,000 for the RNLI.

The day kicked off with the Lochalsh Leisure Centre’s Kyleakin to Kyle swim, which saw 18 competitors take part in the challenging race between the two slipways. The Lochalsh Junior Pipe Band then played a variety of tunes to entertain the large crowd who had gathered for the event.

Kyle, Portree and Mallaig lifeboats put on their usual impressive display but, unfortunately, the Mallaig team were called away on service and missed the rest of the Maritime Day. Their call-out certainly underlined how vital the RNLI’s round-the-clock service is for west coast communities.

The winning raft race team from SGM Motors. NO F37 Kyle Maritime Day 02

Once again, the local kayaking club were on hand to let people take to the water and try out the sport which proved very popular. Kyle Fire Brigade, Kyle Coastguard, the Police & Ambulance also made a welcome return, allowing people to look around their vehicles and chat to the crews.

Kyle, Portree and Mallaig lifeboats put on a display for the crowds, before Mallaig and then Kyle were called in to action. NO F37 Kyle Maritime Day 03

This year also saw the return of the very popular tractor pulling competition, where five teams of six people had to pull Kyle RNLI’s launching tractor over a 20-metre distance in the quickest time. The competition was highly competitive, with the Kyle RNLI crew retaining their title from last year.

The day was rounded off with the annual Kyle fire brigade raft race which was a different format from previous years.

All the teams were supplied with the same pieces of basic equipment and had to build their rafts on the slipway as the crowds watched, before taking to the water and navigating the course.

There were a variety of different teams taking part, including two teams from the German fire brigade who had come over especially for the event. This event was big crowd puller, with the SGM Motors team in Kyle taking first place.

During the raft race, Kyle lifeboat was called away on service, after a member of the public got into difficulty in the strong currents while swimming in Kyleakin bay.

A great day was had by all and Kyle of Lochalsh RNLI would like to thank everyone who took part, came along to support us and helped to make it such a success.