Yesterday, 1st February, Stornoway Coastguard – which now looks after the northern section of the former Clyde Coastguard sea area – got a 999 call reporting two men in the water at Loch Linnhe Marina, near Appin in north Argyll.
The men, with their two sheepdogs, had been moving sheep between the mainland and the Isle of Shuna, north of Oban in Loch Linnhe and lying offshore Appin.
The men were using a 16ft boat which had capsized, throwing them and their dogs into the water.
Oban lifeboat launched to the incident and two local boats arrived to help. The men were wearing buoyancy aids, one drifted ashore, the other was recovered into one of the assisting marina boats.
Appin Coastguard Rescue Team recovered and secured the capsized boat, finding one of the two dogs, alive and well underneath it, in an air pocket. The second dog swam ashore but unfortunately none of the sheep survived.
The two casualties were taken by ambulance to Lorne and Islands hospital in Oban where one is being treated for hypothermia.
Martin Collins, Watch Manager at Stornoway Coastguard,. says: ‘These two shepherds have had a lucky escape today, given the temperature of the water at this time of year. They were aided by the use of the buoyancy aids they were wearing.
‘The Appin Coastguard Team only discovered the dog when they were securing the upturned boat. The dog had been in the water for about and hour but has suffered no ill effects by the experience.
‘This was a good outcome to what could have had a tragic ending.’