Mallaig Lifeboat
Log for 2015

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

27 January 2015
Launch requested by the Harbour Master to assist the safe berthing of a work boat. The Harbour Master received a call on the evening of 26th January 2015 from the master of the work boat that he had lost an engine whilst on passage. He was safely berthed in the harbour at Isle of Rum. He intended to berth in Mallaig on the morning of the 27th and requested an escort from the Lifeboat on the final leg of the passage into Mallaig harbour. The Lifeboat met the work boat off the harbour and owing to favorable weather conditions work boat had good way and steerage on. With the Lifeboat in close escort the work boat made it safely in through the harbour entrance and merely needed a broadside push to bring her alongside the pier.
Lifeboat at the pontoon ready for service at 10:00hrs.

Tuesday 7th April
Launched to the assistance of a local trawler by Stornoway Coastguard at l0:00hrs. Whilst fishing two miles NW of Mallaig Harbour the casualty suffered a failure of her steering gear. The skipper contacted the Coastguard as there were no fishing vessels in the locality that could render assistance. A cargo boat on passage responded to the casualty and stood by until the Lifeboat arrived on scene at 10:10 hrs. Minutes later the casualty was under tow for Mallaig. Lifeboat and casualty safely in harbour at 11:10hrs.
Lifeboat ready for service at 11:20hrs

Thursday 9th April
Launched to the assistance of the fishing vessel Investors at 03:40hrs by Stornoway Coastguard. Whilst returning from a night fishing on the creel grounds the Investors suffered a steering failure. Whilst trying to rectify the fault the vessel drifted dangerously close to the shore on the East side of Brittle Point, Isle of Skye. Unable to steer themselves clear of the shore the crew put the anchor away and stopped the casualty drifting any closer.
When the Lifeboat arrived on scene at 04:36hrs conditions could not be better with flat calm conditions and decent moonlight in the small bay where the casualty was located. Once the tow rope was passed over and made fast the casualty's crew retrieved their anchor and the tow commenced for the Investors home port of Elgol. The Investors was brought to her mooring at 06:00hrs in the Bay at Elgol.
Once secure and details exchanged the Lifeboat returned to Mallaig and was moored and ready for service at 06:45 hrs.

Sunday 12th April
Launched by Stornoway Coastguard to convey Ambulance crew to the Isle of Eigg at 18.45hrs. A child was showing signs of possible meningitis and was in need of medical treatment. Arriving at Eigg at 19:16hrs the Lifeboat was met by Coastguards and the parents with the child. As a precaution Rescue 948 from Stornoway was also dispatched for Eigg arriving shortly before 20:00hrs. After assessment the child was transferred to the helicopter in a nearby field. After boarding the child and its mother Rescue 948 departed for Glasgow's hospital for Sick Children. As soon as the medics returned from the landing site the Lifeboat returned to Mallaig, fueled and ready for service at 21:10 hrs.
Rescue 948 was landing in Yorkhill Hospital before the lifeboat was fuelled and ready for service at the pontoon.

Tuesday 21st April
A mobile call to the harbourmaster was received at 10:00hrs from a vessel registered in Fraserburgh It had another Fraserburgh trawler under tow with a fouled propeller. The skipper asked if the Lifeboat would meet them off the harbour and assist with the docking of the casualty. Once the Local Operations Manager agreed to the request and the Coastguard at Stornoway notified it was just a matter of waiting until the casualty arrived outside the harbour. The Lifeboat met the vessel and the casualty off the green light at l3:20hrs. The initial plan was to act as a brake at the stern of the casualty but due to weather being flat calm it was decided to strap the Lifeboat alongside the casualty and see how both vessels would behave due to their difference in draught. As the casualty vessel was fitted with a bow thruster forward as well as the Lifeboat, forward movement and steerage was attained. Slowly but surely the casualty was brought alongside at the fish pier at 14:30hrs.
Lifeboat squared away and ready for service at 14:45.

Wednesday 22nd April
As with the previous day the harbourmaster received a call from a trawler. It was inbound for Mallaig with another trawler under tow. It was expected to reach the Harbour at 10:30hrs and requested assistance in bringing the casualty alongside in Mallaig. Weather conditions were still good although with large banks of sea fog. Once again the lifeboat was strapped alongside and the tow dropped from the trawler. With the trawler following close behind, the Lifeboat succeeded in bringing in the casualty to the fish pier.
Lifeboat ready for service at 11:45.

Wednesday 22nd April
Minutes after re-mooring the Lifeboat after bringing in a vessel the pagers were activated again by Stornoway Coastguard at 11:50hrs. A report from the Police alerted the Coastguard of a missing person in a fragile state of mind in the area of Loch Nan Ceall, Arisaig. As the Lifeboat entered the Loch, Coastguards informed the crew that the person had been located thankfully safe and well. Lifeboat returned to port berthing at the pontoon at l3z30hrs.

Wednesday 22nd April
Seconds after debriefing the Coastguard on the two previous callouts the Coxswain received a callon his personal mobile from a local skipper. The skipper of the small vessel requested assistance as he had grounded on a reef on the falling tide. The Coxswain immediately informed the Coastguard, passing on the location and the casualty's mobile number. The pagers were activated again to summon a crew. As the Lifeboat was about to pull off the berth the pagers transmitted a Cancel Launch. The casualty had freed herself from the rock and no longer in need of assistance. The skipper and his crewman although a bit shaken had decided to continue with their day's creeling and conveyed their thanks to all concerned.
Lifeboat ready for service at 14:00

Sunday 10 May
Lifeboat was tasked to go to the assistance of FV Ocean Trust PD787 by Stornoway Coastguard at 12:50 as the vessel had fouled her propeller with her fishing gear. Her position was given as 1 mile from the shore of the Island of Muck. The skipper deployed his anchor which did not hold but the local fish farm support vessel Beinn Airean responded and towed the vessel away from danger. The lifeboat took over the tow from the Beinn Airean and towed the vessel back to Mallaig.
The Ocean Trust was berthed alongside Mallaig pier at 18:30hrs. The lifeboat was refuelled and ready for service at 18:45hrs.

Saturday 23 May
Launched by Stornoway Coastguard at 10:30hrs to go the assistance of the yacht Spirit of Calypso aground in the Arisaig Channel. Whilst the Lifeboat was proceeding south the casualty vessel reported that they had managed to refloat themselves off the reef and were returning to Arisaig to inspect for damage. With no further need of assistance the lifeboat was stood down and returned to port. Lifeboat ready for service at 11:0Ohrs.

Saturday 23 May
A call from a workboat on passage south past the entrance of Loch Hourn picked up a clear transmission of a Mayday call from a vessel identified as Kalibre. The workboat replied to the call several times with no response from the vessel. The work boat reported the Mayday call to Stornoway Coastguard who launched the Lifeboat to investigate at 12:30hrs Whilst entering Loch Hourn the Lifeboat crew spotted the Air Ambulance helicopter approaching the village of Arnisdale at the head of the loch.
As the lifeboat entered the bay at Arnisdale the Air Ambulance Helicopter was sitting on the main road with its crew attending to someone on the foreshore. A member of the shore party rowed out to the Lifeboat to explain that he was the skipper of the sailing yacht Caol Ila. A diver had been diving to inspect mooring adjacent to their yacht when he surfaced unconscious. They promptly boarded their dinghy and recovered the diver. After broadcasting a Mayday for assistance and not getting a reply the skipper rowed ashore to dial 999 from a house in Arnisdale. A crewmember on the Caol Ila was a Doctor who began to stabilize the casualty and transferred the casualty ashore to await evacuation by the Air Ambulance.
With the situation in hand the Lifeboat returned to Mallaig, refueled and was ready for service at 14:30hrs.

Wednesday 27 May
A cruise boat on passage south in the Sound of Sleat reported an abandoned/drifting 10 foot dinghy west of the Traigh area of Arisaig. A brief description and position was relayed to the Coastguard at Stornoway The Lifeboat was tasked to launch and recover this craft by the Coastguard. The Lifeboat made for the initial position the craft was reported at and then proceeded downwind to locate the craft some three miles from its initial reported position. The dinghy was brought onboard the Lifeboat and taken ashore once the Lifeboat was berthed back at the pontoon.

Friday 29th€˜ May:
Launched by Stornoway Coastguard to the assistance of a kayaker believed to be in difficulty in the entrance of Loch Ailort at Roshven. A member of the public reported what they believed to be a Kayaker in difficulty in fresh weather. A Rescue helicopter exercising in the area was tasked to assist and was on scene before the Lifeboat.
Once on scene the Y-Boat was deployed with two crew members to search the Coastline on both sides of the estuary. After several sweeps of the estuary by the Helicopter, the Lifeboat and Y-Boat nothing was found apart from general flotsam. Lifeboat and Helicopter stood down at 21:00hrs along with shore based Coastguards from Mallaig and Salen. Police were continuing with their own enquiries.
Lifeboat fueled and ready for service at 21:45hrs.

Friday 5th June
A phone call to the Coxswain and then routed through the necessary bodies saw the Lifeboat launched at 20:45 to Medivac an injured woman from Doune on the Knoydart peninsula. Fortunately a Doctor was holidaying in Doune and was able to administer some first aid until the Lifeboat arrived with the Paramedics. Once the Paramedics had carried out their assessments and made the female casualty comfortable for transfer, the Lifeboat was brought alongside the small jetty.
Once moored the casualty was brought from the accommodation block and boarded the Lifeboat for the short journey back to Mallaig. Once at the pontoon she was taken to the Belford Hospital for further treatment. Lifeboat ready for service at 22:30hrs.

Saturday 13th€˜ June
The lifeboat was tasked to transport two members of the Ambulance Service to the Isle of Eigg to respond to a call from a male who had sustained a head injury. On arrival at the Island the Ambulance personnel met with the casualty. After treating the casualty at the location it was deemed unnecessary to take him ashore for further treatment. The Ambulance crew returned to the lifeboat after which the lifeboat returned to station.
The Lifeboat was refueled and ready for service at 23.30 hours

Sunday 14th June
The Lifeboat was tasked to transport Ambulance personnel to the Isle of Eigg to respond to reports of a person who had sustained a suspected broken ankle. On arrival at the scene the ambulance personnel went ashore to assess the casualty. The Casualty was taken to back to the lifeboat and transported back to Mallaig under supervision of the ambulance personnel. The lifeboat was refueled and ready for service at 03.30 hours.

Tuesday 16th€˜ June
The lifeboat was tasked to go to the assistance to the FV Our Catherine BRD177 who had gone to a mooring at the fish farm in Loch Hourn to lie overnight. After failing to start due to a faulty starter the skipper called the Coastguard for assistance. The lifeboat reached the casualty at 05.10 and transferred a towline. The vessel was taken under tow to Isle Ornsay and safely berthed alongside the jetty at 0630.
The lifeboat was back alongside in Mallaig. refueled and ready for service at 07:15.

Thursday 18th€œ June
A yacht 2 miles north of Mallaig Harbour called the harbour on channel 16 that they had run out of fuel and would appreciate some assistance in getting into the Marina. After going through the proper channels the Lifeboat was launched to assist the yacht into the harbour. As the Lifeboat left her berth the crew were alerted to another more serious incident further out of the Isle of Eigg. A passing ferry was requested to return to the yacht with some fuel after dropping off their passengers, in order to release the Lifeboat for her second tasking.

Thursday 18th€œ June
With arrangements in hand to get fuel to the yacht, the Lifeboat proceeded for Eigg to the assistance of an unwell crewmember of a fishing vessel.
The crew had radioed the coastguard after they thought that one crewman might have suffered a stroke. As well as the Lifeboat being at sea the Coastguard helicopter was also in the air and diverted to the vessel. At 10:55hrs both the Lifeboat and the Helicopter were on scene.
As there was a moderate sea and swell running the Lifeboat would have had difficulty transferring the casualty on board to transfer to the helicopter. By passing a high line to the crew of the vessel the helicopter winchman was guided on board to assess the casualty. The winchman reported back that evacuation was not necessary and that the trawler should return to port and the casualty attend the local GP. Coastguard requested that the Lifeboat escorted the vessel ashore and both vessels docked at 13:50hrs.

Thursday 18th€œ June
A request from Police Scotland saw the Lifeboat leave for Inverie to recover the body of a hill walker at 19:25hrs. On arrival at Inverie the lifeboat was met by locals who had recovered the body to the pier. Once the body had been placed in a body bag it was brought onboard the boat and placed in the survivors' cabin. After the Police had carried out their enquiries the Lifeboat returned to Mallaig at 22:10hrs and was met by a private ambulance to convey the body to Fort William.
Lifeboat ready for service at 22:30hrs.

Thursday 18th€œ June
Whilst awaiting the arrival of Police for the previous tasking the Coastguard requested that the Fire Brigade travel to Inverie along with the Police. Their task was to check out a now extinguished chimney fire for hotspots or any other internal/external damage to a property in the village at Inverie The Fire crew waited along with the Lifeboats crew until the Police were finished with their enquiries from the previous incident.
Lifeboat back at the Pontoon at 22:10hrs.

Saturday 20th June
Launched at 10:55 hrs to tow a yacht into Loch Harport, Isle of Skye by Stornoway Coastguard. The yacht Jooley was located off Portnalong and towed into Carbost and placed on a mooring to await an engineer to repair a broken prop shaft.
Lifeboat back in Mallaig at 15:05

Saturday 20th June
Launched to convey Paramedics to the Isle of Eigg. An elderly women on the Island was showing symptoms of a possible heart attack. The Lifeboat was met by the Island’s first responder who conveyed the Paramedics to the casualty location at Cleadale. Once assessed the elderly person was brought to the Lifeboat and transferred to Mallaig for onward travel to Fort William's Belford Hospital. Lifeboat launched at 14:18hrs and back and ready for service at 17:00hrs