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Busy night for Oban lifeboat crew with two emergency call-outs

The Oban RNLI lifeboat.
The Oban RNLI lifeboat.

Oban lifeboat volunteers were scrambled last night following reports of a person in the water and a sailing dinghy that was adrift.

The RNLI crew were called to reports of someone in the was in Loch Feochan at around 9.15pm.

It is believed the person was clinging to a mooring buoy when they got into difficulty.

Oban lifeboat Mora Edith MacDonald was launched but on route it was established that another person had entered the water to assist them.

Oban’s Coastguard Rescue Team had also been paged as local boats also went to assist.

The crew assisting with the recovery of a sailing dinghy

However, as the lifeboat made its way to the loch’s entrance, it was established that both people had been recovered from the water by those on scene.

While on route back to station, at 9.40pm, the volunteer crew spotted a small sailing dinghy drifting in the sound of Kerrera with four passengers on board.

Duty coxswain Finlo Cottier made the decision to recover the four persons on board to the lifeboat and tow the dinghy back to Oban as they were making little headway on their own.

Mr Cottier said “With light winds and a south flowing tide, they would have struggled to make it back to safety and light was fading fast.

“All onboard were safe and well but this could have been very different a few hours later.”

The lifeboat continued back to Oban where the dinghy and one person were recovered to the shore at Dungallan Park and the remaining three people transferred ashore at the lifeboat’s berth.

Oban lifeboat was made ready for service again by 10.45pm.

The rescue operation marked deputy coxswain Finlo Cottier’s 300th call out

Mr Cottier said: “Our thanks to those that also launched to assist with the first call-out, their swift actions meant the casualties were recovered safely ashore.

“Luckily we spotted the drifting dinghy on our return to station, before darkness fell. This serves as a timely reminder to ensure the correct equipment is carried and worn when taking to the water.”

For Mr Cottier, the evening also marked his 300th call out.

Mr Cottier who is a professor at the Scottish Association of Marine Science, has been a volunteer for Oban lifeboat for nearly 20 years and serves as crew and one of our deputy coxswains.

When asked about his time onboard, Mr Cottier added: “I’ve been fortunate to sail with many experienced and knowledgeable crew. Always learning things every time we go to sea, even after 300 shouts.”

 

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