Log for 2008
Information for these pages is sourced from WestWord, local newspaper for West Lochaber
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Friday 18th January:
An initial alert by the Mallaig Harbourmaster that the fishing vessel Reul A 'Chuain was 2 miles SW of Mallaig with a fouled propeller was quickly followed by the Stornoway Coastguard's request for an immediate launch at 16.24hrs. The Lifeboat was underway at 16.29hrs in a severe SW Gale 9 and proceeded to casualty. Arriving on scene at 16.40hrs the Lifeboat found the casualty rolling heavily on the broadside with net in the propeller, trawl wire snagging the rudder, and therefore unable to manoeuvre. A line was secured with difficulty and the trawler was towed towards Mallaig. Owing to the severity of the conditions and the fishing vessel's inability to steer, on advice from the Mallaig Harbourmaster the Coxswain of the Lifeboat decided not to try to enter the harbour but head for the comparative shelter of Loch Nevis. The tow was extremely difficult with the Reul A 'Chuain (OB 915) continually pulling to starboard and net and gear dragging in the water. At a speed of 3-4 knots the fish farm site at Earnasaig, 6 miles from the casualty's first position, was eventually reached and the fishing boat secured to the fish farm barge there. With no abatement in weather, it was decided to leave the fishing vessel secured safely overnight, so the Lifeboat proceeded to Mallaig with the crew of the Reul A 'Chuain, docking at 19.35hrs.
Saturday 19th January:
Whilst out on exercise, the Lifeboat was requested to give assistance in recovering Reul A 'Chuain to Mallaig from the position where it had been left on the previous evening. The fishing vessel was safe at that location for a short period but not if the weather was to worsen. It was decided that the safest option was to assist the trawler back to Mallaig Harbour where the vessel was eventually beached to clear its fouled propeller.
Thursday 24th January:
Gale force winds, rough seas and good visibility were the weather conditions at 10.22am when the Mallaig Lifeboat was requested by Stornoway Coastguard to transfer a 64-year old lady from the Isle of Muck to Mallaig. The lady had damaged her right elbow and further medical treatment was required. The Lifeboat uplifted the casualty from Muck at 11.43hrs and brought her to the waiting ambulance on Mallaig Pier. Lifeboat refuelled and ready for service at 13.15hrs.
Tuesday 29th January:
Lifeboat launch requested by Mallaig Harbourmaster at 11.05hrs to assist in the safe entry and subsequent berthing of the fish farm well boat Ronja Pioneer which had suffered engine failure. The Ronja Pioneer was towed into Mallaig by the Ronja Viking and the Lifeboat stood by until the vessel was safely berthed at the harbour one hour later.
Sunday 3rd February:
A severe gale was blowing, creating waves of 4 to 6 metres, when the Mallaig Lifeboat was launched at 05.20 hrs to go to the assistance of the barge Voe Service which had transmitted a Mayday call. On reaching casualty at 06.08hrs crew observed that the two fish farm cages being towed by the vessel had a greater rate of drift causing the Voe Service to act like a drogue. Due to its design, the Voe Service was taking a heavy swell over its deck and had a fouled propeller, but the Lifeboat established a tow. Although initially proceed ing towards the shelter of the Isle of Eigg, it was decided to continue to Mallaig instead. Progress was slow - 2 knots in very rough seas - so fish farm vessel Ronja Wiking was asked to take over the tow of the fish farm cages, allowing the Mallaig Lifeboat to proceed back to Mallaig with the Voe Service.
Arriving at the harbour at 09.25 hrs, divers were waiting to clear the 2 propellers, and once clear the Voe Service returned to sea, assisting the Ronja Viking in taking the cages to the Outer Harbour in Mallaig. Lifeboat refuelled and ready for service at l0.00hrs.
Friday 15th February:
Mallaig Lifeboat launched at 19.20hrs at the request of the Stornoway Coastguard to go to the assistance of the trawler Silver Cloud, which had transmitted a Mayday, having a fouled propeller. The Lifeboat arrived on scene at 21.00 hrs and the vessel, with crew on board, was taken in tow and towed to the safety of Carbost pier, approx 12 miles away, where members of the Portree Coastguard helped berth the Ullapool registered trawler.
Lifeboat returned to Mallaig, was refuelled and made ready for service by 01.30hrs on Saturday 16th February.
Tuesday 19th February:
Light breeze, good visibility and slight sea state were the weather conditions prevailing when the Coastguard at Stornoway requested launch of the Mallaig Lifeboat to assist the small passenger vessel Calana (3 persons aboard) which had broken down South of Sleat Point Lighthouse. Launched at 1700 hrs and arriving on scene within 13 minutes, the Lifeboat took the Calana - suffering from fuel problems - in tow, arriving back in Mallaig at 18.22 hrs, berthing the casualty safely alongside the harbour.
Thursday 19th June:
Quite a strong breeze was blowing when the Mallaig Lifeboat was launched at 15.43 to assist the 11 metre yacht Kilrush which was dragging its anchor in Rum harbour with the danger of being blown ashore. The Lifeboat proceeded to Rum but, in the meantime, the crew of another yacht, Stardust, had managed to get aboard the unmanned Kilrush and had re-anchored the vessel. Despite this the Kilrush continued to drift towards the shore, so it was towed by the Lifeboat and securely moored to the Rum Harbour moorings where Rum Coastguard personnel could watch until the owners returned from their walk!
Lifeboat returned to Mallaig, refuelled and ready for service at 18.50hrs.
Friday 20th June:
At the request of Stornoway Coastguard, Mallaig Lifeboat was launched at 13.30 hrs to go to the assistance of the 24.5m charter vessel, the Oban based Elizabeth G, reportedly aground just north of Kilmory, Rum, taking water and launching the life rafts. Lifeboat proceeded to scene, arriving at 1400 hrs to find two yachts standing by the casualty and HM Customs vessel Seeker also arriving on scene. Stornoway helicopter Rescue 100 arrived on scene and stood by with pump on board, but it was not required and returned to Stornoway.
The Mallaig Lifeboat moored alongside the Elizabeth G, which was floating freely again and took the 9 passengers and 3 of the crew off, putting two Lifeboat personnel on board with a salvage pump to assist the remaining crew to assess damage (no water ingress) and recover the life raft. Elizabeth G made way for Mallaig with situation being monitored by lifeboat crew. One of the survivors from the charter vessel was a member of the Tobermory Lifeboat crew, who was asked to join the Mallaig crew for the duration of the service. Lifeboat escorted Elizabeth G back to Mallaig Harbour with survivors put ashore via the Lifeboat pontoon.
Mallaig Lifeboat refuelled and ready for service 18.05hrs.
Wednesday 25th June: Mallaig Lifeboat launched at 17.33 hrs in near gale force
weather conditions at the request of the Stornoway Coastguard, to convey a sick person
from Knoydart to Mallaig.
Lifeboat left pontoon but was then requested to return to take ambulance personnel to attend
the casualty. On arrival at Knoydart at 17.49hrs the casualty, suffering from chest pains, was
brought to the Lifeboat by Landrover and was attended by ambulance technicians.
RNLI oxygen was used to ease his journey to Mallaig and the waiting ambulance.
Lifeboat refuelled and ready for service at 18.55hrs.
Saturday 28th June
Stornoway Coastguard requested the launch of the Mallaig Lifeboat to assist the yacht Drifter, which had gone ashore on the north side of the Isle of Muck. The Lifeboat was launched at 12.30pm and proceeded to the location of the casualty, but heard that the ferry Lochnevis had its fast rescue craft deployed and on scene, and there were also two small vessels from Muck standing by. The Drifter was refloated and checked; there was no damage so the Lifeboat was stood down by the Coastguard and returned to Mallaig.
Monday 7th July:
Mallaig Lifeboat was launched at 20.38 hrs at the request of the Stornoway Coastguard to convey Police to the Island of Eigg to deal with a domestic incident. The Lifeboat conveyed two local Police officers to the island, who were then transported to the scene of the incident on the other side of the island by members of the Eigg Coastguard team. A male was then taken aboard the Lifeboat with the Police and transported on to Mallaig Harbour where he was taken to the local Police Station.
Lifeboat refuelled and ready for service at 22.55 hrs.
Wednesday 16th July:
At the request of Stornoway Coastguard, Mallaig Lifeboat was launched at 15.03 hrs to escort the 12m vessel Mast Climber to safety after it had struck rocks at Loch Ailort. Lifeboat proceeded and met up with vessel just off Arisaig where, after speaking to the skipper of the Mast Climber, it was decided to escort the vessel to Mallaig for repairs. Mast Climber was escorted to Mallaig Harbour and safely berthed alongside pier at 16.35.
Wednesday 23rd July:
Lifeboat was launched at 12.22 to assist Mallaig Coastguard in searching the shore area around Mallaig for missing person. This person, suffering from a heart condition and other medical issues, had been missing for a few days and his van had been left in West Bay car park. Despite a shore search by the Lifeboat and the Mallaig Coastguard and an inland search by the Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team, no trace of the missing person was found. Mallaig Lifeboat returned to station at 16.15.
Friday 25th July:
Very good visibility, a gentle breeze and slight sea state were the conditions prevalent when Mallaig Lifeboat launched at 18.39 to assist fishing vessel Wanderer off Mallaig.
Lifeboat returned to station, refuelled and was ready for service at 21.15.
Tuesday 29th July:
The 12 metre yacht Caol Ila had suffered engine trouble and was becalmed 2 miles SE of Eigg Lighthouse when the Mallaig Lifeboat was launched at 22.13 at the request of the Stornoway Coastguard to go to her assistance. The Lifeboat proceeded to aid the casualty and arriving on scene found yacht making about 1-2 knots. Two Lifeboat crew were put on board to assist the lone sailor, a tow line was passed and secured and the yacht was towed to the safety of Mallaig Harbour and berthed there at 01.32 on Wednesday 30th July.
Saturday 16th August:
The Mallaig Lifeboat Henry Alston Hewat launched at 15.46 hrs at the request of Stornoway Coastguard to go to the assistance of the 11 metre yacht Cariba which had a broken mast stay meaning that the lone yachtsman on board couldn't get the sail down.
Arriving on scene at 16.02 hrs. two crewmen from the Mallaig Lifeboat were deployed on board the yacht helping the yachtsman to take down the sail and repair the mast stay. However, when the Lifeboat coxswain was informed that the yacht's engine was running courtesy of a temporary fan belt (i.e. lady's tights) it was decided to escort the Cariba to a safe mooring at Arnisdale.
Mallaig Lifeboat returned to port, refuelled and was ready for service at 18.30 hrs.
Tuesday 2nd September:
Mallaig Lifeboat launched at 17.43 hrs at the request of the Stornoway Coastguard to investigate sighting of red flares of the SE coast of Skye. Lifeboat proceeded to search area but finding no trace of anything requested Coastguard to call out shore team to ascertain more information from the incident informer. Flares thought to have come from shore and landed close to the water's edge, so Lifeboat continued a coastal search along the shoreline to Armadale, but with nothing found the Lifeboat returned to station at 19.20hrs.
Sunday 7th September:
There was cloudless, clear sky at 09.05hrs when the Mallaig Lifeboat headed out to Kintra Bay conveying a local policeman, who had been asked to investigate a tent on a small island; a tent, reported by the skipper of the Curlew, as having been there for some considerable time.
On arrival at the scene, the Y-boat was launched to take personnel to the tent where 2 mattresses, 2 pillows, 2 sleeping bags and various bits of camping equipment were found. It was the policeman's opinion that it had been abandoned, so tent and equipment were recovered to the Lifeboat and taken to Mallaig Police Station.
Lifeboat returned to station at 11.20 hrs.
Thursday 11th September:
At the request of Stornoway Coastguard, the Henry Alston Hewat was launched at 17.53 hrs to convey local Police Sergeant to the Isle of Canna to investigate a domestic incident.
Lifeboat subsequently returned from Canna with one casualty who, along with the Police Sergeant, was landed at Mallaig Harbour at 20.50 hrs.
Lifeboat refuelled and ready for service at 21.25 hrs.
Tuesday 7th October:
A strong breeze and poor visibility accounted for the squally weather conditions met by the Mallaig Lifeboat after its launch at 21.40hrs. Stornoway Coastguard had requested the lifeboat launch to convey Mallaig Police to the Island of Eigg where they had a report of one person with a head injury and one other requiring immediate removal from the island. Lifeboat proceeded, and on arrival at Eigg, Police and First Aid personnel went ashore to examine the casualty, who was found not to be in need of medical attention. One other person was escorted back to the Lifeboat by Police and subsequently conveyed back to Mallaig. Lifeboat docked at 00.33 on Wednesday 8th.
Monday 13th October:
Mallaig Lifeboat launched at 17.45 hrs at the request of the Stornoway Coastguard to help search for a missing cockle picker reported missing on the east side of the Isle of Skye.
Lifeboat proceeded to scene but, some forty-five minutes into the service, it was recalled as the missing person turned up safe and well.
Lifeboat was refuelled and ready for service at 18.45hrs.
Wednesday 15th October:
The Henry Alston Hewat was launched at 16.01 hrs to go to the assistance of a small RIB, suffering from engine difficulties, close to the shore in Knock Bay, Skye. Arriving on scene at 16.23hrs and realising that the casualty was broken down behind the shall in Knock Bay, the Lifeboat's Y-boat was launched to tow the RIB and its sole occupant out to the Lifeboat. The RIB was subsequently towed to the safety of Isle Ornsay.
Lifeboat returned to Mallaig where it was refuelled and ready for service at 18.35hrs.
Change of coxswain:
On Saturday 1st November Michael Ian Currie took over from Bertie McMinn as coxswain of the Mallaig Lifeboat.
Saturday 1st November:
Lifeboat launched at 11.47 to go to the assistance of the 10 metre fishing vessel Kestrel which was broken down 1 mile SW of the Island of Eigg due to gearbox failure.
When Lifeboat arrived on scene at 12.26, the Kestrel was towed into the safety of Eigg Harbour. Lifeboat returned to Mallaig at 1400 hrs.
Friday 7th November:
Stornoway Coastguard requested launch of Mallaig Lifeboat to go to investigate sighting of a vessel observed to be drifting shorewards close to Armadale Pier, Isle of Skye.
Mallaig Lifeboat launched at 12.15 and on arrival at scene at 12.40 it was observed that the mooring had parted, allowing the 30ft scallop diving vessel Atlantia to drift onto the shore.
The Lifeboat's Y-boat was launched and a tow-rope was quickly attached to the Atlantia which, with a little assistance from the Lifeboat, floated free and was then safely re-moored and checked for any water ingress.
Lifeboat returned to station, refuelled and ready for service at 13.40 hrs.
Sunday 16th November:
A light breeze, cloudless sky, excellent visibility and moderate sea state were the weather conditions prevailing at 9.40 when the Mallaig Lifeboat was launched after a local man reported a small fishing vessel in difficulty off Glasnacardoch Point. A detailed search of the area was made by the Lifeboat and coastguards on the shore but nothing found. The vessels encountered en route reported all well.
Lifeboat returned to station in Mallaig Harbour at 11.15am.
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