A woman with Western Isles connections has left over a third of a million pounds in her will to Leverburgh lifeboat.
Mary Aida MacLeod MacAskill had links with the small island of Berneray links though she spent her life in Edinburgh. In the islands, she would have been known as Màiri Nèill Iain Bhàin Nèill Gobha.
Ms MacAskill who died in September 2015 bequeathed £335,377 to the RNLI service on the west coast of Scotland.
Her executors have agreed that it be used for on-shore work at the Leverburgh station.
Ms MacAskill’s grandfather, Iain Bàn, her grand-uncle, Iain Òg and at least one of their nephews were lost in a boat tragedy between Lochmaddy and Berneray in 1900.
It appears this accident influenced the family’s decision on the bequest allocation.
Leverburgh Lifeboat station is already well into an appeal process to raise £60,000 towards installing a fixed pontoon to allow the crew safer access to the lifeboat.
Local RNLI honorary president, Hamish Taylor, said: “Whilst the local lifeboat station is located at Leverburgh, the communities of Berneray and North Uist have taken ownership of the lifeboat in a very supportive way, and this legacy, from a family whose roots are embedded in Berneray is further tangible evidence of that generosity.”
Leverburgh lifeboat station was opened in 2012 to cover a maritime emergency gap in the Western Isles.
The lack of a rescue service in the seas around Harris and Uist was rammed home after 17 maritime incidents in its first year, making it one of the busier boats in Scotland, double the number the RNLI had estimated beforehand.
The next nearest stations are at Stornoway, Portree and Barra and they took time to get to the Sound of Harris area where Leverburgh is situated.
The crew is made up from dedicated volunteers from the small community.