Log for 2001
Information for these pages is sourced from WestWord, local newspaper for West Lochaber
Monday 8th. January:
Lifeboat launched at 0745 when member of the public reported a vessel aground at Coteachan Point (1/4 mile north of Mallaig). The fishing vessel Fairmorn PD 67 had been under tow by the Poseidon and, nearing Mallaig an attempt was made to tie the vessels alongside each other to make entry to the harbour easier. However by the time this was achieved both vessels had gone aground. The Poseidon managed to re-float but due to engine problems (smashed gearbox) the Fairmorn was unable to get off the shore. An immediate attempt to tow the fishing boat off the rocks with the Lifeboat failed and it was decided to stand by the vessel and wait for the next high tide. Auother attempt to refloat the Fairmorn was made at 15.50 hrs and this time the operation was completed successfully and, with the help of Poseidon, Fairmorn was soon docked in Mallaig Harbour. Mallaig lifeboat was refuelled and ready for service at 15.29.
Thursday 25th. January:
Mallaig lifeboat launched at 15.12 hrs to convey police officers to one of the Small Isles for some routine business. Lifeboat refuelled and ready for service at 17.30 hrs.
Tuesday 30th. January:
Mallaig's new Lifeboat, Henry Alston Hewat, took over the service duties of the Davina and Charles Matthews-Hunter, at mid-day.
Wednesday 31st January:
Under the command of Second Coxswain Bruce Watt the Davina and Charles Matthews-Hunter departed Mallaig at 0500 for Kirkwall.
Sunday 4th. February:
The local Doctor requested a medivac from Inverie (Loch Nevis) so the lifeboat was launched at 19.30 to go to the aid of a 55 year old woman reported to have breathing difficulties. Lifeboat had on board crew member Dennis Eddie who is also an ambulance crewmember. However, on arrival at Inverie at 19.50 the patient was embarked but suspected dead and this was confirmed by the Doctor on arrival at Mallaig. Lifeboat refuelled and was ready for service at 22.00 hours
Friday 9th. February:
Stornoway Coastguard received the emergency PAN-PAN signal that the work boat Gripper, which had not long left Mallaig, required immediate assistance as its cargo had shifted and it was in danger of sinking. The Lifeboat Coxswain heard the situation on the VHF radio and immediately asked Stornoway Coastguard to page the lifeboat crew. The lifeboat was launched at 1800 hrs. but in the meantime the work boat Ocean Drifter had responded to the PAN-PAN call and picked up all seven persons who were on board the Gripper, which sank two minutes later. Two persons had been trapped by fuel tanks (cargo) and were only released when the tanks floated off as the boat sank, the skipper having managed to release restraining straps. All seven people were landed in Doune, Knoydart, by the Ocean Drifter and the lifeboat helped a fishing vessel to take the two 250 gallon fuel tanks ashore. Lifeboat returned to port refuelled and was ready for service at 19.26
Sunday 4th. February:
Local Doctor requested a medivac from Inverie (Loch Nevis) so the lifeboat was launched at 19.30 to go to the aid of a 55 year old woman reported to have 'breathing difficulties'. Lifeboat had on board crew member Dennis Eddie who is also an ambulance technician. However, on arrival at Inverie at 19.50 the patient was embarked but suspected dead and this was confirmed by the doctor on arrival at Mallaig. Lifeboat refuelled and ready for service at 22.00 hours.
Friday 9th. February:
Stornoway Coastguard received the emergency PAN-PAN signal that the work boat Gripper, which had not long left Mallaig, required immediate assistance as its cargo had shifted and it was in danger of sinking. Lifeboat Coxswain heard the situation on the VHF radio and immediately asked Stornoway Coastguard to page lifeboat crew. Lifeboat was launched at 1800 hrs. but in the meantime the work boat Ocean Drifter had responded to the PAN-PAN call and picked up all seven persons who were on board the Gripper, which sank two minutes later. Two persons had been trapped by fuel tanks (cargo) and were only released when the tanks floated off as the boat sank, the skipper having managed to release restraining straps. All seven people were landed in Doune, Knoydart, by the Ocean Drifter and the lifeboat helped a fishing vessel to take the two 250 gallon fuel tanks ashore. Lifeboat returned to port refuelled and ready for service at 19.26.
Sunday 1st. April:
Mallaig Lifeboat launched at 15.08 in calm conditions to assist Mallaig Coastguard in the rescue of a sheep stranded on a cliff edge at Mallaigvaig. Y-boat launched and in a combined operation the sheep was rescued and safely deposited on Mallaig Vaig beach. Lifeboat returned to base at 16.30.
Friday 6th. April:
Reacting to an HM Coastguard request, Mallaig Lifeboat went to the aid of the motor launch Alice Myrtle which had suffered engine failure at the mouth of Loch Nevis. The lifeboat reached the casualty at 1624 (29 minutes after launch) and took the 10m Alice Myrtle in tow and eventual anchorage at Knoydart. The one crew member was dropped off at Inverie Pier. Lifeboat refuelled and ready for service at 18.30.
Saturday 7th. April:
Mallaig Lifeboat launched at 20.28 to go to the assistance of the vessel Bracadale reported ashore at Loch Coruisk, Isle of Skye. A yacht, Gwyneth's Rival, suffered a similar fate in attempting to refloat Bracadale and as the Lifeboat reached the casualty at 21.10 the yacht had been towed off the rocks by the fishing vessel Golden Isles. The Lifeboat subsequently escorted both vessels to safe anchorage in Soay. After checking all personnel were well, Lifeboat returned to Mallaig reaching port at 23.08.
On information supplied by Stornoway Coastguard the Mallaig Lifeboat, the Henry Alston Hewat was launched at 16.09 to go to the assistance of the fishing vessel Nighean Donn which had suffered engine failure off the Isle of Muck. Although the fishing boat managed to restart engines enough to clear the shore, they were still overheating and the Lifeboat took the 19m vessel in tow to Mallaig, arriving back in port, refuelled ready for service at 2100hrs.
Saturday 28th. April:
00.06 was the launch time of the Lifeboat as it went to the assistance of the Banff registered Saffron. The 18m fishing vessel was suffering from engine problems but was towed to the safety of Mallaig Harbour by the Lifeboat. Lifeboat refuelled and ready for service at 04.30.
Monday 30th. April:
Calm weather conditions prevailed when the Stornoway Coastguard requested the launch of the Mallaig Lifeboat at 07.00. The Stornoway registered fishing vessel the Arrivain was behaving strangely in Rum Sound. Arriving at the scene at 07.27 the Lifeboat got two crew members aboard the fishing vessel, discovered no-one in the wheelhouse and stopped the vessel. All three crew members accounted for in the cabin, safe and well. The Lifeboat returned to Mallaig at 08.50.
Tuesday 8th. May:
On leaving fishing vessel Regina Ceali at 17.55 Lifeboat 2nd. Coxswain and son noticed a man in the water, having fallen between MFV Argyll and the pier at the Outer Basin. Three fishermen were trying to assist the man but were having difficulty getting him out of the water. The Mallaig Lifeboat Boarding Boat was launched from the inner harbour to assist and with the help of other crew members the injured man was rescued and taken ashore, where he was taken to the Belford Hospital, Fort William for treatment. The Boarding Boat was safely re-moored at 18.20.
Thursday 18th. May:
Mallaig Lifeboat was launched at 12.02 to go to the assistance of the fishing vessel Fertile which was being towed into Mallaig Harbour by the Crystal River. The Mallaig Lifeboat assisted Crystal River to safely dock the Fertile in the Outer Harbour. Mallaig Lifeboat refuelled and ready for service at 13.47.
Tuesday 5th. June:
While on exercise in the Minch, the lifeboat was asked to proceed to convey the Doctor from Eigg to Canna to provide cover for a Royal Landing Party, one of whose members became ill with severe stomach pains on board a yacht in Canna Harbour. Lifeboat and Doctor remained on scene until HRH Princess Anne left Canna at 1800 hrs. Doctor was duly returned to Eigg and Lifeboat returned to Mallaig at 2000 hrs.
Monday 11th. June:
Stornoway Coastguard requested launch of Mallaig Lifeboat at 04.40 hrs. to go to the assistance of fishing vessel Saffron who was aground on the west side of Eigg. Lifeboat reached casualty at 5.20 hrs. and getting a line on board the grounded vessel, managed to tow her off shore and proceeded to Mallaig, docking there at 07.21 hrs. The fishing vessel Saffron was inspected by divers and with no major damage sustained put back to sea. Mallaig Lifeboat refuelled and ready for service 08.00.
Wednesday 13th June:
13.51 was the time of the launch as the Mallaig Lifeboat went to the assistance of the 7 metre yacht The Old Pretender which was reported aground at Airos in Loch Hourn. The Old Pretender was towed off rocks by another yacht and moored up safely to a stone pier. The five personnel were put safely ashore. Lifeboat returned to station arriving there at 15.26 hrs
Friday 15th June:
HM Coastguard requested launch to go to the assistance of the crew of the Fraserburgh registered fishing vessel Primrose, aground on the south corner of the Island of Rum on a falling tide. The Lifeboat reached the casualty at 04.30 - 45 minutes after the launch - and immediately took the 3 man crew off the grounded vessel. The Lifeboat stood by and two hours before low water a rope securing the vessel was put in place to stop her capsizing. For four hours the 22 metre vessel was held in this position. Eventually on a ¾ tide the vessel was refloated and towed to Mallaig. Lifeboat refuelled and ready for service at 14.36 hrs.
Thursday 12th. July:
Lifeboat requested to assist 12 metre yacht Solitaire whose engine had broken at Arisaig Harbour. With a strong north (Force 6) wind blowing and rough seas the lifeboat was launched at 15.44 hrs, however the yacht managed to anchor safely so the Lifeboat stood down and returned to station at 16.14 hrs.
Sunday 15th. July:
Stornoway Coastguard requested Lifeboat to medivac a casualty from Inverie, Knoydart. Launched at 23.25 the Lifeboat collected the patient - a lady who had collapsed - and conveyed her to Mallaig, where she was transferred to the ambulance, thence to hospital at Fort William. Lifeboat refuelled and ready for service at 0013 hrs. on Monday 16th.
Wednesday 18th. July:
Dutch yacht Catch Up - under sail only, due to engine problems - requested assistance in berthing in Mallaig Harbour. Lifeboat was launched at 13.00 hrs. yacht was berthed successfully and Lifeboat returned to pontoon within 30 minutes.
Friday 20th. July:
The 10 metre yacht Marie Louise, suffering from engine breakdown and a broken mast, had requested a tow into Mallaig for repairs. The Mallaig Lifeboat Henry Alston Hewat went to her assistance at 11.56, arriving at the casualty at 12.44, took her in tow and safely docked the vessel at Mallaig Harbour at 16.43 hrs.
Monday 23rd. July:
Weather was good, visibilty moderate at 13.00 hrs. when Mallaig Lifeboat was launched to go to the assistance of the Broadford registered fishing vessel Karona which was suffering from a gear box problem. Lifeboat reached the disabled casualty at 13.10, secured a tow rope and towed the vessel into Mallaig Harbour. Lifeboat refuelled and ready for service at 14.25 hrs.
Tuesday 24th. July:
Stornoway Coastguard requested launch of Mallaig Lifeboat at 11.52 to go to the assistance of other vessels in searching for a Royal Navy diver reported missing from a deep dive in Loch Alsh. The Lifeboat arrived at the search area at 12.30 and helped in the search for the missing diver who was eventually located 3½ hrs after diving. The diver was pronounced dead, search terminated and Lifeboat returned to station at 17.00 hrs.
Tuesday 31st. July:
Members of the public reported the sighting of two red flares west of Arisaig at 22.20 and after local Coastguard team made contact with persons involved, Mallaig Lifeboat was launched to search the Rhu, Arisaig, shore. After three hours the search was stood down, nothing found, and incident was treated as a false alarm with good intent.
Wed. 1st. August:
Mallaig Lifeboat requested to launch to a PAN-PAN message from yacht Kirsty one mile SSE of Port Mhor, Isle of Muck. The 12 metre yacht had a broken mast and was only managing 2 knots into the wind. The Lifeboat arrived on the scene at 11.40 (48 minutes after launch) and towed the yacht to Bloody Bay, Mull Sound, where the Tobermory Lifeboat was returning to base after dealing with another incident. Kirsty was 'handed over' to the Tobermory Lifeboat who then towed the yacht to the safety of Tobermory Harbour. Mallaig Lifeboat refuelled and ready for service at 15.30 hrs.
Saturday 11th. August:
The launch of the Lifeboat was requested from Isle of Rum resident reporting that the yacht Fiona Sarah had gone aground in Loch Scresort, Isle of Rum. Launched at 15.20 the Mallaig Lifeboat arrived at the casualty at 16.00 to find the 10 metre yacht hard aground. As the tide was due to turn within the hour, the Lifeboat stood by and subsequently refloated the yacht on the rising tide. Lifeboat returned to station at 20.15 hours.
Sun. 14th. August:
Lifeboat launched at 04.15 to attend to a police matter on one of the Small Isles. Lifeboat back on station, refuelled ready for service at 07.00 hrs.
Tues. 21st. August:
HM Coastguard requested launch at 09.50 to assist a power boat that was trying to anchor a ketch which had drifted from Armadale and was in danger of going ashore. Lifeboat arrived on scene at 10.15, quickly recovered both vessels and tied them to a permanent mooring in Isle Ornsay. Mallaig Lifeboat back on station at 12.30.
Stornoway Coastguard received a 999 call concerning the 6 metre Orkney longliner Piper, which was sheltering in severe weather conditions on the west side of Sleat Point. Although anchored in a bay sheltered from southerly winds, as the wind was veering westerly, it was decided to escort the vessel to a safe anchorage. In the event, the Mallaig Lifeboat took the two crew aboard before towing the vessel to Mallaig, arriving there at 20.48, 1 hour and 51 minutes after callout.
Wed. 29th. August:
Lifeboat launched at 06.21 to assist Tobermory Lifeboat to locate an overdue 17ft dory with one person on board, who had left Ulva, Mull, for Coll at 21.00 hrs. the previous evening. After Tobermory Lifeboat had searched all night, Mallaig station was asked to search the area from Ardnamurchan northwards. Twenty minutes after launch of the Mallaig Lifeboat, the vessel was recalled as missing dory with person on board was found at anchor in Calgary Bay, Mull.
Lifeboat launched at 14.29 when orange smoke was seen at Loch Scavaig. Lifeboat along with Stornoway Rescue Helicopter and other vessels searched the area but nothing was found. Incident was treated as a false alarm with good intent. Lifeboat refuelled and ready for service at 17.10.
Monday 3rd. September:
Lifeboat was launched at 23.45 when requested to medivac a male patient with badly gashed head from Inverie. After picking up the casualty the Lifeboat arrived back at Mallaig twelve minutes after midnight on the 4th., when the patient was taken to the Belford Hospital, Fort William, by ambulance.
Friday 7th. September:
Local Lifeboat coxswain received a VHF/Landline Report that a walker had slipped and fallen while crossing a swollen river at the head of Loch Nevis. The Lifeboat, with the local Coastguard Unit and Police Inspector on board was launched at 18.20 to investigate. Arriving at the search area at 19.00 hours the searchers were helped in their task by the Coastguard Helicopter and one from RAF 138. A body was found by the Coastguard Helicopter and picked up and landed at Broadford on the Isle of Skye. Three distressed walkers were taken to Mallaig by the lifeboat for questioning (one was with the casualty when he was lost) by Police. Lifeboat returned to Station, refuelled and ready for service at 21.00 hrs.
Tuesday 18th. September:
On information by a member of the public, the Coastguard requested the launch of the Lifeboat to go to the assistance of a small vessel that had run ashore ¾ mile south of Mallaig. The Lifeboat quickly reached the casualty and helped informant to secure the 10 metre Galatea and lone crewman was taken on board the Lifeboat and subsequently landed at Mallaig Harbour where he was checked over by local doctor. Lifeboat back on station by 20.05
Sunday 30th. September:
Mallaig Lifeboat put on standby by Stornoway Coastguard who were concerned for safety of a 60 year old female in a dinghy being used to ferry yacht personnel ashore near Arisaig. Person subsequently turned up safe and well and Lifeboat was stood down.
Friday 5th. October:
Due to Tobermory Lifeboat being on restricted service (one engine) Mallaig Lifeboat was requested to launch by HM Coastguard to go to the aid of a 45 ft ketch experiencing difficulties on the south side of the Isle of Muck. Lifeboat launched at 05.33 hrs but due to unforeseen circumstances could not continue and returned to station. Subsequently Oban Lifeboat carried out this service and the ketch, believed to be of German origin was towed to Tobermory Bay.
Saturday 27th. October:
Lifeboat launched at 03.50 to convey the local doctor to Inverie to tend a person suffering from severe hypothermia. The doctor tended the casualty who did not need to be evacuated to hospital. The Lifeboat returned to Mallaig and was refuelled ready for service at 05.10 hrs.
Friday 9th. November:
Lifeboat requested to launch by HM Coastguard at 22.41 to go to the assistance of the tug Akelia and barge Allier in difficulty NE of the Isle of Eigg. The barge was 'hipped' to the tug but had started to take on water in the port engine room and consequently developed a 30 degree list. The tug transferred the tow to the stern in an attempt to beach the barge but the barge then listed over 90 degrees and tipped 40 tons of stone, a digger, 2 dump trucks and a hyperbaric chamber into the sea. Although the barge righted itself it was taking in too much water and sank. No loss of life occurred and Lifeboat recovered chamber, liferaft and debris. Lifeboat returned to base, was refuelled ready for service at 06.22 hrs on Sat. 10th Nov.
Thursday 22nd. November:
Lifeboat launched at 22.33 to go to the assistance of a woman suffering severe asthma attack in Inverie, Knoydart. The Lifeboat conveyed the local doctor to the scene and after initial treatment casualty was stretchered on board and taken to Mallaig where she was airlifted by helicopter to hospital in Fort William. Lifeboat back on station by 23.24.
Thursday 29th. November:
Skipper Michael Iain Currie of the Five Sisters reported to Lifeboat coxswain that a large object was floating in the sea off Morar and was a danger to shipping. Mallaig Lifeboat launched at 10.16 to investigate. Object was found to be an ordnance that had obviously been floating for a long time. Navy divers were contacted and on their assurance that it was safe to tow, the object was towed into shallow water at the north end of Morar Estuary to await the arrival of the bomb disposal squad.Lifeboat back at pontoon 12.58.
Thursday 29th. November:
Stornoway Coastguard requested launch of the Lifeboat to go to the assistance of FV Silver Spray which had fouled its propeller and sheared its tail shaft in Loch Beag and was making water. Arriving at the scene at 16.35 the lifeboat got a line on board and towed the 8 metre vessel to the moorings in Loch nan Uamh. Lifeboat refuelled and ready for service at 17.54.
Friday 30th. November:
Lifeboat launched at 09.30 when requested as back up for their own Gemini by the Bomb Disposal Team who had arrived from Faslane to deal with the discovered ordnance discovered floating in the sea the previous day. The mystery object was identified as a torpedo and although initial attempts to explode it were unsuccessful it was eventually destroyed. Lifeboat back on call at 17.54.
Thursday 27th. December:
Mallaig GP, via Stornoway Coastguard, requested the launch of Mallaig Lifeboat to medivac a woman from Tarbert, Loch Nevis. Launched at 14.13 the Lifeboat returned with the patient at 15.25, and she was subsequently transferred to the Belford Hospital, Fort William, by ambulance.