Oban Lifeboat out to Lady Rock again

Oban LIfeboat 14 August

The Mora Edith Macdonald launched at 12.44 this afternoon following a call to the Coastguard from the 30′ gaff cutter, Wender.

Wender, with two people aboard, had suffered engine failure just off Lady Rock at the southern tip of the Isle of Lismore – the second yacht to suffer a problem in this same place within the last couple of weeks.

On 3rd August it was the 30′ yacht Dark Island aground on Lady Rock.

This afternoon, the lifeboat took Wender in tow and brought her to Oban Sailing Club’s moorings in Oban Bay – then refuelled and was ready for service again at 13.52.

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11 Responses to Oban Lifeboat out to Lady Rock again

  1. While in no way a direct comment on this particular incident, I have begun to wonder why so many incidents are to do with sailing yachts calling for help because they have engine failure. Sometimes, from the on scene photographs on here and in the Lifeboat magazine, there appears to be plenty of wind.

    Are modern yachts not capable of sailing in strong winds? Are the crews incapable, even though most these days have at least some RYA qualifications? Is the modern skipper’s mindset fixed on using using the engine to get out of trouble, rather than the sails? Do they, therefore, put their yachts into situations that they would not if they didn’t have an engine? A tiny sail in a gale of wind creates much more power than a sailing yacht’s engine with its egg whisk propeller.

    These are genuine questions with no hidden meaning. I’m just interested in people’s thoughts. I’ve also done a lot of sailing around here.

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    • Fair enough answer SR…don’t see why you should get two thumbs down ?
      Not refering to this item directly, wind against tide ? or even a fast tide can make the area quite rough and a little daunting to some…I have seen a number of yachts mess up or turn around in the area over the last 15 years or so..
      From a personal point of view; I use my motor in harbour and sometimes motor sail in stronger currents, very rarely as a form of power out at sea…in the main because I do not have time constraints when I go sailing.
      PS: As an exercise what was the tide doing then ? where was the wind coming from ?

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      • Wind was NE here yesterday, so they might have had to beat into Oban Bay to pick up a mooring, but nothing difficult.

        The ilustration suggests the sea state was slight. It would have been slack water or the very start of the flood.

        The boat is a gaffer – people who sail these usually know what they are doing, so there may have been more to this callout than meets the eye.

        Don’t know why I got three thumbs down for my remark – just popular I guess :-) (though there is at least one anti-yachtie lurker on here).

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        • S.R.perhaps the thumbs down were ‘cos you have twice referred to conditions on the 16th whereas the incident was on 14th???? as a relative newby on here I have found the “thumbs” thing to be quite confusing, even R.W. sometimes gets an “up”??

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          • Ah, apologies for that, very careless – and thanks for correcting it.

            Looking through the weather records for Oban Airport for midday on the 14th the wind was 11mph SSE.

            A nice strength and reasonable direction for a gentle sail across to Oban Bay to pick up a mooring. (4.5nm on a bearing of 108deg T or ESE from Ladys Rock) – the only difficulty would have been if the wind shifted in the entrance ot the bay and they make a tack going through the N. entrance just as the Isle of Mull or the Clansman was coming out.

            However, as I said before no judgement can be made without knowing the full circumstances. There could have been a good reason for not raising the sails.

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  2. I am certainly not anti-yachtie but feel quite strongly that those well-off enough to own or hire yachts should pay for their recovery, similar to drivers. It would help support the Life Boats to save those who use the sea for work rather than play.

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    • With all due respect Lowry you have not thought this through.

      For a start, the idea that only the wealthy own yachts is somewhat naive. My own yacht cost considerably less than the average family car does new, and probably costs less to maintain than an average gym or golf club membership.

      There is no imposition on the public purse. The RNLI is one of the wealthiest charities in the UK, and funding is not an issue.

      Imposing a charge would bring in the spectre of impoverished sailors risking their lives and those of their crew when a call to the CG was clearly in order. The RNLI is strongly against the imposition of any charges.

      The issue is one of training, self-confidence and self-reliance, not one of funding.

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      • Aye,

        Totally agree with both SR and Tony…same situation exists in Mountain Rescue…we do not want to be in the hands of the government or private sector.

        Given the vast amount of money the sailing/boating sector generates along the West coast and beyond remarks about cost of a boat are irrelevant…

        It is a case of fact that this year Tiree has seen more yacht visits than during the last 15 years (as long as I have been on Tiree)during the 6 weeks hols on average there were 3 boats every day/night anchored outside my house…all spent money on the island..same for Coll et al.

        As for cost of a yacht…my Contessa was built in 1973..! spread that over the last 39 years its a bargain. Average weekly hire for 4 berths yacht divided by 4 is a dammed site cheaper than a one week hol in the med in some two/three star hotel.

        Thank god for the RNLI & Clyde coat guard.


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    • Lowry, I think you will find that the vast majority of ‘yachtsmen’ and ‘leisure boaters’ do pay for recovery by supporting the RNLI with quite substantial annual sums. As for the government run services (mainly military rescue helicopters), we all pay for those through taxes. If, as you suggest, leisure boat users are ‘well off’, then they will be paying a larger proportion of the costs of these services than the average. So, leisure seafarers are, in fact, paying for their ‘recovery services’.

      ‘Scots Renewables’, remarks (Aug 17 1048 ) are spot on, especially the last sentence. ‘Training, self-confidence and self-reliance’.

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  3. In my sailing days, regrettably long since gone, universal vhf usage was rare, and mobiles not yet invented.

    I had various collisions with Tiree, Skye, the Cowal Peninsular, the bottom of Oban Harbour. and, on one shameful occasion, the banks of the Crinan Canal.

    In every case I was able to wedge off, or a passing yacht passed a line.

    But a vhf set would have been much appreciated.

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