All onboard for Oban’s RNLI’s advent calendar

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Oban RNLI is all onboard for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year by coming up with its own advent calendar on social media.

December 1 – We have one lifeboat in Oban, the Mora Edith MacDonald, one crew and one aim; to save everyone. But, there’s only one thing that makes all of this possible and that’s the generous of the public. Whether it’s Christmas Day or any other day our volunteers will be on call, and ready to drop everything to help those in trouble at a minutes notice. They’ll be ready to brave any weather day or night, to save everyone, every time.

December 2 – Our lifeboat has is powered by two marine diesel engines.
The Trent class lifeboat is driven by two MAN 2840 marine Diesel engines, each fuelled by a 2,000 litre tank of diesel. That’s 4,000 litres of diesel carried on board. Her power ensures she can reach a top speed of 25 knots and cover her 250 nautical mile range. Something we’re forever grateful for with the 495 miles of coastline in our patch.

December 3 – Three is the age of our very own lifeboat dog! Starting off his crew life on Portpatrick Lifeboat, Flynn moved to Oban in 2019 to join his humans as part of Oban lifeboat crew. His dad Ally as the coxswain, and mum Lawrie as crew. He’s usually on station Monday-Friday overseeing the boats general maintenance and being the official meet and greet for any visitors.

December 4 – Four babies have been born onboard Oban Lifeboat.  The first was born only two weeks into its service on August 5, 1997, when Jane Banner gave birth to a baby girl named Hazel Beth Mora Banner, in honour of the lifeboat. It’s an old maritime tradition that children are baptised using the ship’s own bell. It’s then engraved with the child’s name, kept safe and sometimes presented at their 18th birthday.

There are four of these special bells engraved with the names of babies born onboard Oban’s lifeboat 

December 5 – On the fifth day of the fifth  month in 1972, Oban’s first every lifeboat arrived on station. By the end of her first week in operation, she had already saved five lives.

December 6 – 66,000,000 cubic meters of water through Connel’s falls of Lora.
Our patch covers miles of spectacular coastline and among it are many unique and notorious tidal features.

December 7 – Crew number 7 is Ian Henry; he is our longest serving current crew
member. Since first joining in 1990, he has responded to his pager over 426 times – and counting! That’s the equivalent of at least one call out a month, for each of those 31 years. During this time he has travelled more than 7,630 nautical miles and spent over 750 hours onboard the lifeboat, just on callouts.

Ian Henry is the longest serving current crew
member. Since first joining in 1990, he has responded to his pager over 426 times 

December 8 – Eight people were rescued by the Oban lifeboat when the fishing vessel Shemara ran aground in gale force winds on Thursday January 31, 1985, shortly after 3am. The 80-tonne fishing vessel had grounded on Lady Rock off Lismore. The rescue was entered into the Silk Cut Nautical Awards where the volunteer crew were awarded with a gold medal for bravery.

December 9 – Nine is the number of shouts our newest crew member Jasmin Manning has helped with since joining at the start of this year. Originally from Oban, Jasmin is currently studying Marine Science at the Scottish Association of Marine Science. She also volunteers for the Marine Conservation Society, helping with beach
cleans and education.

Newest crew member Jasmin Manning 

December 10 – On January 10, 1998, Oban lifeboat launched  after a canoeist was reported overdue from Cuil bay in Loch Linnhe. At the time of the page, the volunteer crew were on their way to their annual dinner but, as usual they responded to their pagers and headed to the lifeboat station instead fully dressed in kilts and bow ties. The hypothermic canoeist was found clinging to his canoe and was a little confused by his rescuers’ attire. This shout also marked the 1001st call out in Oban Lifeboat’s 26 year service.

December 11 – Oban lifeboat became the first station to reach 100 shouts in a year. That rescue in 1998 was a medivac from the Isle of Mull, something that remains a
vital part of our lifesaving work to support the many island communities in our patch.

December 12 – After 12 years of firing maroons to alert the crew of a shout, Oban’s
volunteers received their first ever pagers in 1984.

Oban’s lifeboat volunteers received their first ever pagers in 1984 NO_T52_pagerrnli

December 13 – 1375 is the number of shouts our current lifeboat, Mora Edith MacDonald, has assisted with so far. The Trent class lifeboat first arrived on station in Oban on July 16 1997 and had been designed and built by Green Marine in Hampshire.

December 14 – It costs around £1,400 to fully train each volunteer crew member.
As the RNLI is funded by your kind donations, it’s all thanks to you to that this is possible.

December 15 – Over 150 knitted yellow wellies were knitted by volunteers for Oban
RNLI’s Mayday campaign this year. Their efforts not only resulted in being awarded one of the RNLI’s first Golden Welly Awards, but they also set the Guinness Word Record for the most number of knitted wellies!

Volunteers knitted 150 yellow wellies for this year’s May Day Appeal 

December 16 – 16-00 is the unique identification number of our very own raft race
lifeboat, aptly named the Mora Less. The great Oban Bay raft race has proven extremely successful over the years raising thousands of pounds for the RNLI.

December 17 – At the age 17, our youngest crew member Andrew Scott joined. He is the second generation of his family to volunteer onboard our lifeboat; following in the footsteps of this dad Mark, who is also a crew member and deputy coxswain.

December 18 – 18ft was the length of the first lifeboat ever stationed in Oban.
Our current Trent vessel is three  times her length!

18ft was the length of the first lifeboat ever stationed in Oban – the McLachlan class Our current Trent vessel is three  times her length! NO_T52_Mclachlanclass

December 19 – In the 1990s,  Oban’s volunteers were recognised for developing an
innovative piece of equipment onboard the lifeboat.

December 20 – 20-year service medals were awarded to three of our coxswains this
year – Ally Cerexhe along with deputy coxswains Mark Scott and Finlo Cottier.

December 21 – Crew number 21 is DM Donald Matheson. He spent 15 years volunteering onboard our lifeboat before he retired last year. In that time he had travelled over 5,000 miles and spent over 500 hours at sea. He was even present for the birth of one of the babies onboard.

December 22 – 22 hours is the longest single shout our volunteers have assisted with when on August 19, 1984, the coaster Northumbria Rose ran aground in thick fog, with six crew onboard.

December 23 – Mora Edith MacDonald’s official naming ceremony took place on the
May 23 1998.

You will have to wait until tomorrow and go to www.facebook.com/rnliobanlifeboat/ to find out what the fact is for December 24.