Tobermory Lifeboat at official opening of Lochaline Marina – and says thanks to a special supporter

Andrew McHaffie Coxswain Tobermory LIfeboat with Alexander McCall Smith at Lochaline

Tobermory RNLI lifeboat’s volunteer  crew got the chance, above, to say thank you to a special supporter when they attended the official opening of the new pontoons and a harbour building at Lochaline in Morvern.

Once the formalities were over, visitors and locals alike were able to come aboard Tobermory’s Severn Class lifeboat, Elizabeth Fairlie Ramsey, and meet the crew.

One special visitor was the acclaimed writer, Alexander McCall Smith, author of the hugely successful No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series.

Just ten days earlier, Mr McCall Smith had responded to a Mayday call when he out on the water himself, had witnessed the work of Tobermory RNLI at first hand and had ’tweeted’ about the experience.

Following a distress call from a singlehanded skipper whose yacht was aground and taking on water in Loch Sunart on Saturday 6th July, Alexander McCall Smith tweeted – as For Argyll reported at the time: ‘While at sea today I answered a Mayday call. One never expects to hear it, but it came: poor man sinking in Loch Sunart. We steamed to the scene; in minutes there came the Tobermory lifeboat; they carried out rescue, went aboard, saved him. They were volunteers – the lifeboat crew. People still risk their lives for others, as they do.’

Tobermory RNLI Coxswain, Andrew McHaffie, says: ‘It was a pleasure to be able to thank Alexander McCall Smith in person not only for his support for the RNLI but also for responding to the distress call.

Tobermory lifeboat crew at new Lochaline marina

‘We were very glad that we were able to accept the invitation to the official opening of these new facilities at Lochaline which will be a huge asset to local and visiting boats. We were also pleased to welcome so many locals and visitors aboard our lifeboat.

Whilst she may be based on the Isle of Mull, the lifeboat belongs to all of the communities which we serve along the west coast and Hebrides.’

The photographs above are by Dr Sam Jones, volunteer crew member and press officer for the Tobermory RNLI lifeboat. They show, top, Coxswain, Andrew McHaffie on the pontoons with writer, Alexander McCall Smith; and above, the crew of the Tobermiry Lifeboat at Lochaline’s new harbour building.

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