Reliability, Performance, Compliance


RIB skipper saved after firing flare


A skipper in difficulty in a RIB taking on water off Scotland has been rescued by the RNLI after firing a flare.

Tobermory RNLI’s volunteer crew responded to a ‘Mayday’ call off the west coast of Mull one afternoon in late September 2018 and launched into a north westerly wind blowing Force 5/6.

Stornoway Coastguard reported that a Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) with one person aboard was taking on water between Tobermory and Staffa.

Tobermory RNLI’s Severn class lifeboat, Elizabeth Fairlie Ramsey was joined in the search the Caledonian MacBrayne ferry MV Loch Tarbert and MV Voe Jarl as well as the UK Coastguard’s search and rescue helicopter based at Prestwick. Tobermory and Craignure Coastguard Rescue Teams were also asked to help.

Having seen a flare, the volunteer RNLI crew located the 8.5metre RIB by Caliach Point, but due to the location and the conditions, the lifeboat’s daughter craft, the Y Boat, was unable to approach. Instead, the skipper was winched aboard the coastguard helicopter.

Tobermory RNLI Mechanic Paul ‘Gunny’ Gunn says, “We had very little information to go on when we launched so we were very grateful for the assistance of the Voe Jarl and Cal Mac’s ferry Loch Tarbert. Cal Mac’s ferry Isle of Lewis also offered their help, too. This was very much a team effort and we’re pleased that our colleagues from the UK Coastguard were able to get the skipper to safety.”

The photo, which shows the RIB aground off Caliach Point, is credit of RNLI/Alec Brown.

Oct 09, 2018