Log for 2010
Information for these pages is sourced from WestWord , local newspaper for West Lochaber
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Monday 4th January:
Mallaig Lifeboat called out at 18.18 hrs to assist the local fishing vessel Amethyst. On leaving the fishing grounds south of Eigg, one of the fishing boat's crew discovered water in the engine room. Unaware of where or why the water was coming in, assistance was called for. With a strong northerly wind blowing, Amethyst sought the shelter of the South Harbour at Eigg, so when the Lifeboat arrived on scene at 1855 hrs it was able to go alongside the fishing boat and transfer three crew and a water pump with little difficulty.
Once pumped dry and with no apparent leak found, Amethyst (BA123) continued on to Mallaig escorted by the Lifeboat.
Lifeboat refuelled and ready for service at 22.05hrs.
Tuesday 2nd February:
Lifeboat launched at 13.05 hrs at Stornoway Coastguard's request following report of an overdue cockle picker in the Loch Moidart area. On arrival at the scene some 40 minutes later, the Lifeboat had to cautiously pick her way through the narrow rocky south entrance and channel into the upper reaches of the loch. Due to the state of the tide, the Lifeboat's operational capabilities were severely restricted so the Y-boat was deployed to search the shoreline for the missing cockle picker. In the meantime, the local resident of Eilean Shona came alongside the Lifeboat and informed the crew that he would inspect some of their holiday cottages on the south side of the island in case the missing person had taken refuge there. After doing a sweep of the upper loch, the Y-boat returned to the Lifeboat to be joined shortly by the local with his RIB to inform that he had found the cockler on a small beach safe and well.
Knowing that the missing person was OK, the Mallaig Lifeboat headed for home and was refuelled ready for service at 17.04 hrs.
Friday 5th March:
Mallaig Lifeboat was requested to launch by the Stornoway Coastguard at 21.36hrs to go to the aid of the 10 metre trawler Osprey which had broken down one mile south of Loch Bracadale and was drifting towards the shore. As the Lifeboat proceeded to the casualty the Coastguard was informed by the skipper of the Osprey that they had managed to restart the engine, were no longer in danger of going ashore and were proceeding towards Loch Harport.
Lifeboat was subsequently recalled and returned to base, refuelled and ready for service at 23. 10hrs.
Sunday 28th March:
At the request of the Stornoway Coastguard, the Mallaig Lifeboat was launched at 12.05 to go to the assistance of the Banff registered fishing vessel Aquarius which was on passage to Mallaig but which had lost main engine power and also the auxiliary engine due to water contamination of fuel. Due to the wind direction, the skipper of the trawler was fearful that his vessel would be blown onto the lee shore of Eigg before he could bleed the fuel system and get underway again. Fortunately the skipper managed to restore power to the main engine just as the Lifeboat arrived in scene (12.29) so Lifeboat escorted the Aquarius into the safety of Mallaig Harbour.
Lifeboat refuelled and ready for service at 14.25hrs.
Mallaig Lifeboat Henry Alston Hewat returned to station on Saturday 10th April after refit.
Relief Lifeboat Fraser Flyer left Mallaig on Saturday 17th April bound for Buckie.
Saturday 1st May:
Lifeboat launched at 20.10 hrs to go to the aid of the 20m fishing boat Keristum which had suffered steering gear failure just outside Mallaig Harbour. Arriving on scene within minutes, the Stornoway registered fishing vessel was quickly secured alongside the Lifeboat and towed into the safety of the Outer Harbour. Lifeboat refuelled and ready for service at 20.56.
Saturday 15th May:
Whilst on exercise in the Sound of Sleat, the Mallaig Lifeboat was tasked by Stornoway Coastguard to go to the assistance of the yacht Madrigil. The lone sailor had been clearing seaweed from the rudder of the 6 metre sailing boat when he somehow managed to dislocate his hip. The Lifeboat was quickly on scene but the fresh breeze prevented getting alongside so the Y-boat was launched, crewed by Dennis Eddie and Neil MacDonald. Dennis boarded the yacht and was able to ease the discomfort of the injured sailor enough for him to steer the yacht into the harbour entrance and in the quieter waters the Lifeboat came alongside Madrigil and towed her onto the pontoon inside the harbour.
The local ambulance service took the injured yacht skipper to the Belford Hospital for treatment and the Lifeboat crew stowed away the yacht's gear.
Lifeboat refuelled and ready for service at 13.30.
Thursday 20th May:
Weather was calm at 22.40 hrs when the Lifeboat was launched to investigate the sighting of multiple flares observed in the locality of Isle Oronsay, Skye. On clearing the harbour entrance, the crew of the Lifeboat were informed that persons on a beach at Isle Oronsay had been releasing Chinese lanterns into the night sky. A local resident mistook the lanterns for distress flares and called the Coastguard. Lifeboat was stood down and returned to station at 22.52 hrs.
Monday 24th May:
The Henry Alston Hewat was launched at 14.56 hrs at the request of the Stornoway Coastguard to go to the assistance of the 8-metre yacht My Annie which had suffered engine failure a couple of miles south-east of the Oberon Bank. Arriving on scene at 15.23 hrs a tow was quickly established and My Annie was towed into the more sheltered waters of the mouth of Arisaig Harbour. With the yacht now strapped alongside, the Lifeboat continued in through the perches to Arisaig Marine where the yacht was located to a mooring.
Lifeboat then returned to base at Mallaig Harbour, being ready for service at 18.00 hrs.
Friday 28th May:
Mallaig Lifeboat was launched at 15.27 hrs to participate in the search for a local woman who had been reported missing for a number of hours. The Lifeboat was tasked to search the shoreline within one mile radius of Mallaig, concentrating in the Mallaig Vaig area. Search was called off when the woman was found on shore safe and well. Lifeboat refuelled and ready for service at 17.10 hrs.
Saturday 12th June:
At the request of the Stornoway Coastguard, the Mallaig Lifeboat was launched at 1607 hrs to search for a missing person in the area of the Skye Bridge. Minutes into the passage, the Lifeboat crew were informed by HM Coastguard that Helicopter Rescue 100 had recovered the casualty from the water and was proceeding to Broadford Hospital.
Mallaig Lifeboat subsequently stood down, returned to base and was ready for service at 1630 hrs.
Sunday 11th July:
Mallaig Lifeboat launched at 10.17 hrs when tasked by HM Coastguard to go to the assistance of the 8m creel boat Mary Anne, on passage from Mallaig to Tobermory. With the NW winds gusting to Force 7, the skipper of the small fishing boat became concerned for his own safety and notified the Coastguard when his vessel started shipping water. On arrival at the casualty (11.02), weather conditions dictated that the Lifeboat escort the Mary Anne downwind to Loch Cean Traigh and guide her into the estuary of Kentra where the skipper tied up alongside one of the local creel boats to await moderation in the weather.
Job done, the Mallaig Lifeboat returned to base, was refuelled and ready for service at 13.22 hrs.
Friday 16th July:
There was a fresh breeze blowing when HM Coastguard requested the launch of Mallaig Lifeboat to proceed to Inverie Pier to collect and transfer a young girl with a suspected broken arm from Inverie to an awaiting ambulance at Mallaig Pier. Launched at 19.17 hrs, the Lifeboat was back on service, mission accomplished, at 20.05 hrs.
Saturday 24th July:
Lifeboat launched at 15.20 hrs to medivac a person from the Island of Eigg but Lifeboat stood down almost immediately due to Scottish Ambulance Helicopter being in the area and able to attend the casualty.
Monday 26th July:
Launched at the request of the Stornoway Coastguard at 09.46 hrs, the Mallaig Lifeboat set off for the harbour at Canna to go to the assistance of an ill yachtsman. The yachtsman was suffering from severe headaches and double vision and, concerned for his well-being and that of the two teenagers with him, a yachtsman on a neighbouring vessel alerted the Coastguard.
Arriving on scene at 10.40 hrs, the Lifeboat crew brought the casualty and his young companions on board the Lifeboat and, with the yacht secure on a mooring, proceeded back to Mallaig and the awaiting ambulance, arriving at 11.40 hrs.
Lifeboat refuelled and ready for service at 12.12 hrs.
Thursday 5th August:
Lifeboat was launched at 19.14 hrs to investigate EPIRB activation off west coast of Skye but was recalled thirteen minutes later as Barra Lifeboat, on exercise in the area concerned, responded to the call. Mallaig Lifeboat subsequently stood down.
Friday 6th August:
Weather conditions were good when Lifeboat launched at 16.35 hrs to assist in the rescue of four persons (2 adults and 2 children) who had fallen overboard from their small fast craft just outside Mallaig Harbour. Persons were picked up by the fishing boat Alex C but their craft was stuck in gear, going round and round in circles with only a dog on board. The vessel was eventually restrained using a heaving line to foul the propeller and was then towed back to the harbour where the dog was reunited with its owners.
Lifeboat refuelled and ready for service at 17.36 hrs.
Friday 13th August:
Launched at 07.34 hrs at the request of the Mallaig Coastguard, the Mallaig Lifeboat didn't have to leave the harbour as it recovered an unmanned yacht that had broken free from its mooring and was drifting towards the rocky shore. Ably assisted by Mr. B. Watt, the yacht was taken in tow, cut free from dragging mooring lines and tied alongside the harbour at 08.18 hrs.
Friday 13th August:
HM Coastguard requested the launching of the Mallaig Lifeboat at 11.21 hrs to medivac a female at Inverie who was suffering abdominal pains. Casualty was picked up at Inverie Pier at 11.40 hrs and subsequently passed on to the ambulance personnel waiting at Mallaig Pier at 12.10 hrs.
Thursday 19th August:
Good visibility with a gentle breeze were the conditions when HM Coastguard in Stornoway requested the Mallaig Lifeboat to launch (12.56 hrs) and go to the assistance of the yacht Aurelia. The three man crew and a youngster had been enjoying a sail in the Knock Bay area, south of Skye, when the uppermost part of the yacht’s mast snapped, jamming the rigging, so preventing the sails from being fully lowered.
On scene at 13.15 hrs, a tow to the stricken vessel was quickly established and the lifeboat towed the Aurelia towards Mallaig Vaig then, with the yacht secured alongside, made for the safety of the Outer Harbour, docking there at 14.50 hrs.
Lifeboat refuelled and ready for service at 14.55 hrs.
Friday 20th August:
Mallaig Lifeboat launched at 20.25 hrs to assist the fishing vessel Reul a' Chuain as southerly gale force winds were threatening to push the boat on to the East Bay shore. Fortunately, before the Lifeboat had time to leave the pontoon, the vessel's crew managed to get her head into the wind and out of danger.
Lifeboat stood down at 20.30 hrs.
Sunday 29th August:
Stornoway Coastguard requested the launch of the Mallaig Lifeboat at 06.15 hrs to go to the assistance of a 10 metre yacht in difficulties in Loch Scavaig at the foot of the Cuillin Hills. The yacht Prosit had dragged anchor and been blown ashore. Whilst attempting to stop the grounding, the Prosit had fouled her propeller on a creel end, so putting the engine out of action. Fortunately an anchored yacht managed to get a line to the Prosit and pull her off the shore.
Severe squalls and spindrift caused by the winds coming off the Cuillins confronted the Lifeboat when it arrived on scene at 07.07 hrs and this made manoeuvring difficult within the confined space of the anchorage. However, on the second attempt the tow rope was passed and made secure, and cautiously the yacht was towed out of the anchorage to open water.
With the two occupants remaining on board, the tow continued, but with the NW winds increasing, it was deemed easier to take the yacht to Armadale rather than attempt crossing the Sound of Sleat to Mallaig. at 10.57 hrs, the Prosit was secured on a mooring at Armadale.
Lifeboat returned to Mallaig, refuelled and ready for service at 11.30 hrs.
Thursday 23rd September:
A clear, sunny day with good visibility and a light breeze were the weather conditions when the Mallaig Lifeboat was launched at 9.12 hrs at the request of the Stornoway Coastguard to assist the helicopter Rescue 100 and Tobermory Lifeboat to search for the yacht Solitaire, reported overdue.
Searching commenced from Glasnacardoch southwards with the Lifeboat offshore and the Y-boat inshore, but minutes after rounding Arisaig Point the Lifeboat was informed by Rescue 100 that they had located Solitaire at anchor in a small bay south of the peninsula. Two members of the Lifeboat crew subsequently boarded Solitaire to investigate but regrettably no sign of the lone occupant was found, and it seemed that the yacht had been at this anchorage for several days. A thorough search of Arisaig Bay and surrounding islands was carried out to no avail. The search continued into Loch nan Uamh whilst Tobermory Lifeboat combed the shore from Ardnamurchan Point to Glenuig. Lifeboats rendezvoused at the mouth of Loch Ailort and searched in towards Eilean Shona and Loch Kentra. After 9 hours of searching both Lifeboats were stood down, but the final act of the day was to remove Solitaire from her lonely anchorage and take her to Arisaig Marina and into the hands of the local police.
Mallaig Lifeboat back on station at 1800 hrs.
Friday 24th September:
Mallaig Lifeboat launched at 10.49 hrs at the request of HM Coastguard to search the Loch nan Uamh shoreline for missing yachtsman Mr Neil MacKenzie. Lifeboat and Y-boat commenced searching from the west of where the yacht Solitaire was found to the upper reaches of Loch nan Uamh. The search continued west along the Ardnish peninsula to Glenuig Bay and Smirisary, but no trace of Mr Mackenzie was found. Whilst on passage home, the Lifeboat checked the Bellows Islands but to no avail.
Lifeboat refuelled, ready for service at 16.30 hrs.
Wednesday 29th September:
At the request of Northern Constabulary, the Lifeboat was launched at 12.30 hrs to convey Police officers to the Isle of Canna following reports that a body had been found on the shore in the South Tarbert area of the island.
Arriving at Canna at 13.30 hrs, the Police then carried out their enquiries, and on completion of those enquiries the body was taken to Canna Pier and placed on board the Lifeboat for onward transportation to Mallaig and the relevant authorities.
Lifeboat was refuelled and ready for service at 16.40 hrs.
Wednesday 3rd October:
Mallaig Lifeboat launched at 17.54 hrs at the request of Stornoway Coastguard to help in the search for a missing holidaymaker — who had failed to return to his accommodation on the Sleat Peninsula.
With the Coastguard and local Police also involved in the search, the Mallaig Lifeboat was tasked to search the coastline from Knock Bay on the east side to Dalavil on the north-west shore of Sleat Point. The casualty was located by the Police dog team inland from Inver Dalavil and the Rescue helicopter subsequently airlifted the holidaymaker to Broadford Hospital for medical attention. All units were stood down and Lifeboat returned to station, refuelled and ready for service by 21.11 hrs.
Wednesday 27th October:
Mallaig Lifeboat was launched at 17.31 hrs in near gale force conditions to go to the assistance of an upturned rowing boat in Loch Eishort, Isle of Skye.
Initial reports indicated that three persons were hanging on to the hull of the upturned vessel but as the Lifeboat rounded Sleat Point en route to the scene, Stornoway Coastguard were informed that the casualties (including the boat) had been carried by the wind and tide to the shore. Despite being twenty minutes in the water, the people involved were fine and Lifeboat was stood down and returned to station at 18.05 hrs.
Sunday 31st October:
Lifeboat launched at 22.20 hrs at the request of the Stornoway Coastguard to convey police and ambulance personnel to the Isle of Muck as a male resident, in a vulnerable state of mind, was to be removed from the island.
Police and medic were landed on Muck at midnight, then with one adult in custody of the police, the Lifeboat returned to Mallaig, arriving back at the pontoon at 02.17 hrs.
Lifeboat refuelled and ready for service at 02.30hrs.
Tuesday 2nd November:
Lifeboat launched at 10.33 to go to the assistance of a coaster, Red Duchess, broken down and drifting five miles south of Rum. Mallaig Lifeboat crew endured a ten hour marathon call in horrendous weather conditions to save the 1300 tonne coaster.
"There's no doubt the coaster would have gone ashore on Rum," said Mallaig Lifeboat Coxswain Michael Ian Currie. "In the time between the call out and the lifeboat arriving on scene the Red Duchess - a 76m coaster laden with a cargo of coal - had drifted to within two miles of the island. The weather was atrocious but we got a tow rope aboard her stern, pulled her round into the wind and got her heading towards the open water of Rum Sound."
However this was just the start of a gruelling six hour shift as the lifeboat, awaiting the arrival of the tug Anglian Prince, kept the coaster in tow - an extremely difficult task in storm force WSW winds gusting at 50mph, driving rain and a five metre swell. At 18:00hrs the Anglian Prince arrived on scene just as the tow line between the coaster and the Lifeboat snapped. The same thing happened when the first tow line between the Anglian Prince and the Red Duchess parted so while the tug retrieved the wire and re-set the tow line the Lifeboat once again came to the rescue of the coaster, reconnecting a tow line to the stern of the Red Duchess and bringing her round a mile or so from the shore. Thirty minutes later the Anglian Prince established a second tow rope on board the coaster and set off for Stornoway.
Mallaig Lifeboat returned to port at 21.52, eleven hours after being called out.
Sunday 7th November:
Mallaig Lifeboat launched at 17.20 when tasked by HM Coastguard to medivac a 53 year old male from Inverie. Very strong SE winds ensured a cautious approach to Inverie pier but once alongside (17.89 hrs) the patient was quickly boarded and subsequently transported to Mallaig and an awaiting ambulance. Lifeboat refuelled and ready for service at 1810 hours.
Tuesday 16th November:
Moderate breeze, good visibility and moderate, choppy seas were the weather conditions at 11.35 hrs when the Lifeboat was launched to go to the assistance of a small fishing vessel, Toucan, suffering engine failure in the Knock Bay area of Skye. With the wind forcing the fishing boat to drift towards the shore, the skipper contacted Stornoway Coastguard who subsequently contacted the Lifeboat.
In the meantime, the skipper of the 6 metre creel boat continued to try to restart the engine, and having done so, he was able to steer his boat out of danger. When the Lifeboat arrived on scene, Toucan was making headway towards Armadale in a stiffening SE breeze. Happy with an escort back to Armadale, Toucan made it safely to the moorings and the Lifeboat returned to Mallaig, ready for service at 1300 hrs.
Friday 19th November:
Mallaig Lifeboat launched at 11.41 hrs to assist the fishing vessel Boy Craig which had lost engine power near Kylerhea. Lifeboat was subsequently recalled as the stricken vessel was taken in tow by another fishing boat and Lifeboat was not required.
Mallaig Lifeboat refuelled and ready for service at 11.48 hrs.
There were no further callouts for the Mallaig lifeboat in 2010. During the year the lifeboat was called out on 31 occasions, compared to 33 callouts in 2009, 27 in 2008 and 29 in 2007.
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