Off-duty RNLI couple go to the rescue

RNLI crew members Leonie and Andrew Meade were off-duty when they spotted a drifting yacht needing their help

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Off-duty RNLI couple Leonie and Andrew Meade were all hands on deck when they spotted a yacht in need of help.

The drifiting yacht on Saturday evening had run into engine difficulty between Maiden Island and the Dunollie shore.

A call had gone out to Oban’s RNLI station but when the crew arrived, Leonie and Andrew were already onboard the yacht that was carrying four people.

The couple were returning home from a sail onboard their own  boat ‘Snowgoose’, when they spotted the yacht and saw one of its occupants in a dinghy trying to tow it to safety.

Andrew, who is also a deputy mechanic for Oban’s lifeboat, said: ‘The yacht was very close to running aground on submerged rocks and the Isle of Mull ferry was fast approaching the bay. We dropped our own sails and went over to offer assistance.’

The couple towed the yacht to the safety of Oban bay, where they were met by fellow crew members onboard Oban lifeboat who took over the tow and safely berthed the yacht alongside the North Pier pontoons with the assistance of Oban’s Coastguard Rescue Team.

Andrew added: ‘We just happened to be in the right place at the right time and were happy to be able to help. Luckily the weather was favourable but any stronger winds could have made this a very different situation.’