Busy weekend for Stornoway Coastguard with six call-outs in 24 hours

The Lifeboat Leverburgh
The Lifeboat Leverburgh

Coastguard crews in the Western Isles were scrambled to six call-outs in 24 hours as distress calls, maydays and a suspected unexploded bomb kept rescuers on their toes.

Bosses yesterday thanked coastguard teams, RNLI crews and passing vessels for their support in dealing with the incidents on Saturday.

The day started with a fishing vessel, the Ceol na Mara, sending a mayday call for help shortly after 9.30am.

The boat had run aground and was taking on water while fishing on the west coast of Lewis.

The vessel was assisted by a passing fishing boat, the Ebony May, into Carloway and the Leverburgh RNLI lifeboat was tasked to assist.

The second call out came at 1.36pm, from a passing yacht who witnessed a dingy floating out at sea five miles south of Lochmaddy.

The dingy was located, with no one on board.

The third call was to a previously reported unexploded bomb on the Isle of Raasay.

The Royal Navy confirmed that the suspected bomb was in fact a rusted metal buoy, and was not at any risk of exploding.

During the afternoon, a fourth call – made via 999 – from the Isle of Mull was quickly cleared up, with no action required.

A fifth call came in shortly before 1am on Sunday morning, alerting officers to a gentleman on a red rib who it was believed had been injured.

A full scale search for the craft in the Kyle of Lochalsh area included Kyle and Portree Coastguard teams and Kyle RNLI Lifeboat.

The rib, and man, were located “safe and well” at 2.05am.

A sixth call, also made at 1am, was from concerned members of the public who saw flashing lights coming from the sea at Sandalwood Bay near to Lochinver.

Further inspection by Lochinver RNLI Lifeboat confirmed the flashing light was coming from a life raft.

The life raft was empty and was later confirmed as a vessel that had been reported missing by the Shetland Maritime and Coastguard agency earlier in the month from the Cape Wrath area.