Mallaig Lifeboat
Log for 2003

Information for these pages is sourced from WestWord, local newspaper for West Lochaber

Previous year's log Following years log

Saturday 4th January:
Weather and visibility were good and the sea calm when the Mallaig Lifeboat launched at 1847 at the request of the Mallaig Harbourmaster who reported that the motor vessel Von had broken down 8-10 miles south of Mallaig. The Lifeboat arrived at the scene within 25 minutes and took the Von in tow, arriving back in Mallaig Harbour ar 22.05 where, with the help of the fishing vessel Crimson Arrow, she was safely berthed

Saturday 25th January:
In contrast to the previous callout the weather on this day was poor with force 7 to 8 westerly winds when the Lifeboat was launched at 14.20 to convey police officers and undertaker to the Island of Eigg to attend a fatal accident.
With the weather too bad for commercial craft the Lifeboat was the only alternative and carried out the task of conveying personnel to and from the island. The Lifeboat was refuelled and ready for service at 18.45.

Saturday 1st February:
The Mallaig Lifeboat encountered poor visibility and force 6-7 southwesterly winds as it departed Mallaig at 20.27hrs to convey police officers to the Island of Eigg. The Lifeboat arrived back with the officers at 00.40 hrs the following morning, was refuelled and ready for service at 01.06 hrs.

Sunday 22nd February saw the largest Search and Rescue exercise ever to be staged off the Lochaber Coast. Read a full account in the March 2003 issue of our local newspaper, West Word

Friday 21st March:
Weather and visibility were good and a SW wind blowing force 2-3 when Mallaig Lifeboat launched at 17.35 to go to the assistance of the 5m motor cruiser Carly which was aground in Tarskavaig Bay. Arriving at the scene at 18.12 the Mallaig Lifeboat towed the cruiser to Armadale where it was safely moored. Both crew members were safe but in a shocked state. Lifeboat returned to port, refuelled and was ready for service at 21.50 hrs.

Saturday 22nd March:
Weather and sea conditions were good when the Mallaig Lifeboat launched at 10.56 to assist in the search for a missing hillwalker in the Loch Nevis/Loch Hourn area. Loch Nevis was searched but before reaching Loch Hourn it was reported that the RAF Mountain Rescue Team had found a body near the head of Loch Hourn. Lifeboat returned to station at 13.30.

Friday 28th March:
The cruise ship Hebridean Princess, lying off the Island of Eigg, had reported that an elderly lady had suffered a bad knee injury and although treatment for the injury was given by the Eigg doctor, the doctor requested that the casualty be immediately evacuated to hospital. In an operation lasting 1 hour 37 minutes, the lifeboat was launched, then transported the casualty to Mallaig Harbour, where the injured lady was taken to the Belford Hospital, Fort William, by the local ambulance.

Sunday 30th March:
The request came from the Stornoway Coastguard to convey a Fire Brigade Crew from Glenuig to the remote Ardnish peninsula where buildings were threatened by heath fires. Arriving on the scene at 17.57 the Lifeboat conveyed the Fire Crew to and from the incident scene, ultimately arriving back at Mallaig refuelled and ready for service by 2100 hrs.

Monday 31st March:
following a report of a fishing boat aground on the South East coast of the Isle of Rum, HM Coastguard requested the immediate launch of the Mallaig Lifeboat. Lifeboat launched at 06.05 hrs to go to the assistance of the 20m trawler Ocean Challenge. The fishing vessel refloated and was met by the Lifeboat 2 miles east of Rum. The Ocean Challenge was badly holed and taking in water so a pump and two crew members were put onboard to assist the fishermen as the boat was escorted back to Mallaig where she berthed safely at 08.00 hrs.

Sunday 13th April:
Mallaig Lifeboat launched at 22.15 when HM Coastguard requested help in tracing an EPIRB signal. The search area was Sleat Point in the south to Doune Bay in the north but nothing found and boat returned to station at 23.40. On return to harbour a strong distress signal was picked up and traced to one of the Fishermens' Net Stores. EPIRB removed and taken to local Coastguard Unit.

Thursday 8th May:
The weather was rough (force 8/9 WSW winds) when the Mallaig Lifeboat launched at 04.30 to go to the assistance of the fishing vessel Serene. The 18 metre Inverness registered fishing boat had suffered a fracture in the main engine oil pipe and needed escorting into port. This was achieved by the Lifeboat reaching the casualty west of Rum Sound at 05.30 and ensuring the vessel's safe entry to Mallaig three hours later. Lifeboat refuelled and ready for service at 09.00.

Saturday 24th May:
Lifeboat launched at 13.55 to go to the assistance of a 6 metre Rigid Inflatable suffering engine problems off Glenuig. Lifeboat proceeded to casualty, took the occupants (5 divers) on board and towed the R.I.B. into Glenuig Pier, disembarking the divers safely at 15.45. Lifeboat refuelled and ready for service by 1700 hours.

Wednesday 28th May:
wind direction and speed was SSW 3 to 4 when the Lifeboat launched at 12.40 to assist in bringing the fishing vessel Norlan into port. The Banff registered fishing boat was being towed into port by the FV Fertile but requested the assistance of the Lifeboat in order to dock safely. This was achieved and Lifeboat was back on station at 13.45.

Monday 2nd June:
The weather was calm and clear when the Mallaig Lifeboat was launched at 14.45. following a Police report that a hill walker had suffered a broken leg in a fall at Stoul Bay in Loch Nevis. On the Lifeboat's arrival on scene it was discovered that the casualty was at the top of an 800 ft hill. Three crew were dispatched uphill with oxygen, entonox and a stretcher and they were joined by two doctors who happened to be in the area on board the MV Western Isles, and who were transferred from the mailboat to the scene by the lifeboat. Descent with the casualty was judged too difficult and a helicopter was requested to airlift him to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness. With communications in the same area difficult HM Coastguard Mobile Unit assisted in the relaying of VHF messages. Mallaig Lifeboat arrived back in Mallaig at 1730, conveying the remainder of the casualty's party.

Wednesday 6th August:
The weather was cloudy, visibility fair with a light SW breeze when Mallaig Lifeboat was launched at the request of the Stornoway Coastguard at 22.43. An elderly man who had set out single-handed in a dinghy was overdue in Loch Bracadale (SW Skye). Coastguard team located a body in the water at the shoreline and the lifeboat remained on the scene until no further assistance was required. The Lifeboat was back at station 02.07 hours.

Friday 8th August:
The Lifeboat was launched at 13.22 on receipt of a message from KM Coastguard that the local fish farm boat Laura Jane had run aground on a rock at the entrance to Loch Nevis. The Lifeboat crew launched their Y-boat with salvage pump and the 10 metre Laura Jane was refloated, pumped out and escorted to Mallaig for beaching. The Lifeboat was refuelled and ready for service at 15.20.

Wednesday 13th August:
The Lifeboat was launched when a concerned member of the public reported the possibility that a young girl had fallen from the sea wall on the Outer Harbour. The Lifeboat and Y-boat were launched at 21.4l to search the harbour area but the search was called off just 30 minutes later when it was established that the 'casualty' was safe and well.

Friday 29th August:
The Coastguard requested the launch of the Mallaig Lifeboat to assist the 10 metre yacht Quest which had broken down while entering Mallaig Harbour. Northerly winds were gusting 3 - 4 as the Lifeboat set off for the casualty at 20.58. Fortunately for the two man crew of the Quest, the engines on the yacht restarted and she was ultimately escorted into Mallaig Harbour by the yacht Anna Belle, where the Lifeboat found her to be safe. The Lifeboat returned to station, refuelled and ready for service at 22.55.

The new Tobermory Lifeboat, the Elizabeth Sairlie Ramsay visited Mallaig in the middle of August on its maiden voyage en route to its home base (Balamory?). As well as Lifeboat crew, the new Severn Class vessel (1739) had, as a special guest, Mr Andrew Freemantle, Chief Executive of the RNLI, and a special luncheon reception was held in the Mallaig Lifeboat Station in honour of the occasion.

The Tobermory and Mallaig Lifeboats also took part in the Naming Ceremony of the Cal-Mac ferry Coruisk on Thursday 14th August, when they acted as escorts on the journey from Mallaig to Armadale, where the naming ceremony took place.

Friday 5th September: Lifeboat launched at 23.24 to investigate the sighting of red flares reported to be in the Sandaig (Loch Nevis) area. A thorough search of the coastline from Glaschoille to Doune was carried out by the Lifeboat and Y-boat but nothing was found. Lifeboat returned to station, refuelled, ready for service at 0245 on the morning of Saturday 6th September.

Saturday 13th September:
On receiving a request from the owner of the F.V. Reliant PD990. the Mallaie Lifeboat was launched at 21.30 to assist the 20 metre fishing vessel, suffering from a fouled propeller, to berth at Mallaig Pier. This was achieved successfully and the Lifeboat was back at Station at 22.21 hours.

Thursday 18th September:
Coastguard reported that the 8 metre creel fishing boat Clachain Boy had been found circling and unmanned ? mile off the Isle of Muck and still attached to a fleet of creels. Lifeboat launched at 20.33 hours and assumed role of 'on-scene commander' to Tobermory Lifeboat and 13 fishing vessels who joined the search for the one man crew of the creel boat from the Isle of Muck. A thorough search of the area was conducted until 03.45 when the Lifeboat berthed the Clachain Boy in Muck Harbour then returned to station (04.30 hrs) to refuel and make crew adjustments with a view to resuming search at first light.

Friday 19th September:
Mallaig Lifeboat resumed search at first light (06.40 hrs) for the missing creel fisherman and they were joined in the search by the Tobermory Lifeboat and several other vessels. The search continued until it was called off at 17.30 hrs. Lifeboat returned to station at 17.45 hrs.

Saturday 20th September:
Weather calm, visibility fair, when HM Coastguard asked for the launch of the Mallaig Lifeboat at 22.31 hrs after a report of two red flares observed at Knock Bay on Skye. The Lifeboat conducted a search pattern until it was confirmed by the Coasteuard that it was a firework display at a local (Skye) hotel. Lifeboat stood down and returned to station at 23.55 hrs.

Wednesday 1st. October:
Mallaig Lifeboat was launched at 11.24 after an EPIRB signal had been detected by HM Coastguard. Lifeboat proceeded to Doune (Loch Hourn) but on reaching the location pinpointed by the satellite it was discovered that the EPIRB had been activated by accident. The device was de-activated and the lifeboat returned to station at 12.30.

Friday 31st October:
HM Coastguard requested the launch of the Mallaig Lifeboat to go to the assistance of the 15 metre fishing boat Minch Harvester, reported to have a net in the propeller. On reaching the casualty the Lifeboat passed over a towline and the Ohan registered trawler was then towed to Mallaig and berthed safely alongside the pier. Launched at 14.17, the Lifeboat was back on station, refuelled and ready for service by 1800 hours.

Thursday 27th November:
The sea was smooth and visibility good when responding to a request by the local GP. the Mallaig Lifeboat launched at 15.20 to transport an 88 year old man from Tarbert, Loch Nevis, who had fallen and sustained a femur break. On arrival at Tarbert the casualty was stretchered from the Old Post House to the Lifeboat. and subsequently transferred to the waiting ambulance when the Lifeboat docked at Mallaig harbour ca. 16.30 hours.

Tuesday 30th December: It was a fine, clear night when the Mallaig Lifeboat was launched at 19.19 hrs to investigate the report by a member of the public on Sleat, Isle of Skye, of a red flare in the Sound of Rum. The Lifeboat carried out a search of the area but nothing found. Lifeboat returned to port, refuelled and was ready for service at 22.30 hours.

Previous year's log