Oban lifeboat pre-dawn launch to get police officers to Mull

The volunteer crew of Oban Lifeboat were tasked at 02.10 on Thursday 29th by Stornoway Coastguard to assist Police Scotland with the transfer of officers from Oban to Craignure.

The Lifeboat berthed at Craignure at 2:43am where the police were safely transferred ashore at the linkspan.

What the purpose of the officers was in their small hours fast transfe to the island of Mull is not yet known to us.

The lifeboat left Craignure five minutes later and returned to station where the lifeboat was refuelled and made ready for service at 03.25.

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Related Articles & Comments

  • The miss-use of Oban Lifeboat, and it’s crew, by the Government’s Coastguard Agency is getting beyond a joke. They’ll be delivering tax letters next.
    It’s time for RNLI members, and the contributing public, to begin writing letters of complaint against the Government’s hi-jacking of the life saving equipment that they have all paid for out of their hard earned money.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 18

    Murdoch MacKenzie October 30, 2015 6:55 am Reply
  • I am very surprised at the lack of awareness of the tragic accident resulting in the death of an islander on Wednesday night, requiring additional Police officers to attend to investigate. The road was closed between Fishnish and Craignure; details of the closure were on the Calmac website early doors yesterday and it was on BBC Scotland’s Glasgow and West website travel news also early doors, plus a brief item on their Glasgow and West news website just after lunchtime yesterday.

    We are all grieving for a lovely, vibrant, popular young lady who was highly valued and competent at her job.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

    Jade October 30, 2015 9:28 am Reply
  • Could not agree more with Murdoch. I only hope Police Scotland will pay RNLI for the service.
    Why did they have to use the lifeboat ? Plenty of boat owners/operators in Oban who could have done this, for a price.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 12

    seaforth October 30, 2015 10:42 am Reply
    • Surely, Seaforth and MM, the reason the police used the lifeboat in an emergency rather than a private boat owner is obvious, though apparently not to you. It was that they knew the lifeboat would be available at very short notice, fully crewed, which would not be the case with any other boat.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 5

      Alex McKay October 30, 2015 1:10 pm Reply
      • My work needed to get to Mull one Christmas Day, they managed to charter a boat without any problems – they paid of course.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 8

        Lundavra October 30, 2015 3:22 pm Reply
      • Lifeboats are not fully crewed. They are only crewed when a “shout” goes out. I think there might be one on the Thames that is fully crewed but no other that I have read of.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

        Murdoch MacKenzie October 30, 2015 10:08 pm Reply
  • My locational circumstances on Wednesday night and yesterday morning made any awareness of a tragedy having occurred impossible. I hope no one takes offence.
    My comments on the article are not changed though. The lifeboat is funded to save lives at sea, the Coastguard and the Police should have arrangements with professional boatmen for any extraordinary travel requirements.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 5

    Murdoch MacKenzie October 30, 2015 11:12 am Reply
    • Murdoch,
      You haven’t upset anyone. What was upsetting was that the article appeared on FA now 12 hours ago and what had happened was in the public knowledge (albeit not initially that it was a fatality) roughly mid-day yesterday and has not been updated on FA.

      I must also apologise to Theresa’s family and Charles for mis-spelling her name – default on my pc – to send my sincerest sympathies to you all.

      Maybe, given the number of times Oban lifeboat is used for medevacs and tragedies like this, the time has come for transparency on these issues?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

      Jade October 30, 2015 12:09 pm Reply
    • The police in most areas are quick to charge for attendance at even charity events so it seems quite reasonable that they should pay for using other organisations’ service. particularly charities like the RNLI.
      I was only wondering a few days ago about whether the police or VOSA pay the council when they take over the car park for vehicle inspections. I can’t see any reason why they should not be paying.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

      Lundavra October 30, 2015 1:00 pm Reply
  • MM Have you asked the lifeboat crew and launching authority what they think about helping out members of other emergency services? I think perhaps not.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 3

    Once-ler October 30, 2015 11:54 am Reply
    • Of course they will help if requested, that’s their nature. I get all the Lifeboat literature as I have been a member for between thirty and forty years.
      From conversations I have had with “Launch Authorities” in various places around the UK and Ireland some of them are not carried away with the Coastguard service, they look at their big fancy buildings with disdain.
      The lifeboats should be on their station until there is a genuine life saving shout, not acting as water taxis for the police. The road in Mull being closed for an accident investigation cannot be classed as a reason for a “shout”.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 11

      Murdoch MacKenzie October 30, 2015 2:25 pm Reply
      • Murdoch – ‘water taxis’ seriously!

        Someone was killed in an RTA, if that isn’t a good enough reason for one emergency service to help another I don’t know what is.

        It was never anymore than 33 minutes from it’s base and I am quite sure if a call had been made for another emergency they would of made the appropriate professional decisions.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 4

        John M October 30, 2015 5:39 pm Reply
        • Indeed it was requested by the Coastguard to act as a “Water Taxi”. There were no lives in peril so it should not have been requested.
          Over 65% of lifeboat funding comes from people bequeathing legacies to the institution. The Oban Secretary needs to get tough with Stornoway Coastguard and tell them that there are commercial operators looking for work in the area.
          The Coastguard will end up destroying an irreplaceable voluntary service if people are put off leaving the RNLI their legacy because they do not feel that they are focussing purely on life saving.
          Maybe that’s what the Coastguard want to happen so that their organisation can take over.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 14

          Murdoch MacKenzie October 30, 2015 9:57 pm Reply
          • I wonder if you’d be on your ‘high horse’ if it was a case of the fire brigade being called to pump out a fishing boat sinking at a pier somewhere? Not their job, leave it to the RNLI?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

            Robert Wakeham October 31, 2015 1:24 pm
          • Salvage is not encouraged by the lifeboat authorities as it could lead to delays, caused by the financial element, in calling for assistance, thus making a bad situation worse.
            In my experience, it is the fire brigade that does assist with boats that are taking on water at the quayside. Nobody wants a sunken boat at their pier.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5

            Murdoch MacKenzie October 31, 2015 5:33 pm
  • Crash happened at 2015.
    Police accicent investigation team departed Oban on lifeboat almost 6 hours later (0210 ). Presumably waiting for the team arriving from Dumbarton.
    A private boat operator should have been used for this.
    Dont forget the lifeboat is crewed by by people who have full time jobs and like everyone else need sleep.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 11

    seaforth October 30, 2015 5:39 pm Reply
  • How about a FOIA request to Police Scotland to find out how much they paid the RNLI for their assistance?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 13

    Lundavra October 30, 2015 5:54 pm Reply
    • Lundavra. Quite agree, please, feel free to submit a FOI request to Police Scotland on behalf of us all. Look forward to hearing your findings in the days to come.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 10

      Alistair October 30, 2015 7:29 pm Reply
  • First of all I would like to offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of the poor girl who lost her life. So young. A terrible tragedy.

    I’m not going to offer a view on the lifeboat escort issue as it isn’t something I know enough about. Any views i gave on the rights and wrongs of it would be based on a total lack of knowledge of normal practice and procedure.

    On the FOI issue I would be inclined to say it is not a good idea. The FOI act is a powerful tool in terms of getting to the bottom of things but it should be used responsibly. We all rely on the emergency services, and also to services provided by councils and health boards. Irresponsible use of FOI costs these bodies huge amounts of money every year. Money that can be better invested elsewhere.

    Not saying people shouldn’t raise FOI requests. There are times when it is entirely correct to do so. I just feel it is getting over used for less ‘important’ reasons too regularly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

    Integrity? October 30, 2015 8:31 pm Reply
  • Thank you Murdoch and Integrity for being the two posters who have expressed any concern for the loved ones and friends of Theresa Wade as clearly others are more concerned about financial issues.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    Jade October 30, 2015 11:50 pm Reply
  • I am sure that in the tragic circumstances the Lifeboat crew will have welcomed the opportunity to provide assistance.

    Police, RNLI, fire service, residents are all community and this was an example of folks coming together to do what was right.

    Of course we all reject entirely the down grading and removal of Coasthaurd services by our Westminster masters and feel justifiably aggrieved.

    But in the circumstances all credit to the RNLI who members could be relied upon to provide assistance.

    And I’m sure the families and all touched by this tragedy will echo this sentiment.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

    willie October 31, 2015 7:28 am Reply
  • Whatever happened to humanity and compassion in 21st century Argyll?

    Theresa Wade was a lovely young woman who was an important and integral part of the community on Mull and as her partner Charles says a bright light gone out far too soon. Theresa’s death is a sad and tragic loss for her family, friends, work colleagues and the island community and our sincerest, heartfelt condolences go out to Charles, her parents Mary & Trevor, and her two sisters Rosie and Louise.

    I don’t think anyone on this forum knows the agreement/arrangement between Police Scotland and the RNLI regarding the use of the lifeboat service but what I will say is the use of the Oban lifeboat was cheaper, more cost effective and quicker than calling out the Calmac ferry, a helicopter or even chartering a private boat. The RNLI is there to offer assistance to the public,and this includes Police Scotland as well as other emergency services. Do stranded yachties and other pleasure craft users pay for the services of the RNLI? Probably not. I don’t see anyone on here condemning their use and reliance of the RNLI! Our island communities up and down the west coast of Scotland rely very much on these services whether they are charity funded or state funded including the search and rescue coastguard service manned by volunteers who also work full time elsewhere and are called out in the middle of the night to go searching for people or assist a medivac helicopter.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 4

    Jessie J October 31, 2015 9:02 am Reply
    • You are mistaken when you say that the lifeboat service exists to offer assistance to the public. It exists to save lives at sea. From their constitution, “The object of the Institution shall be to save lives at sea and on inland waters”. They also now promote Safety under their constitution. Nowhere do they mention providing ferry services for Police or any other emergency service, breakdown assistance for yachties or the salvage of grounded vessels, except where lives are in danger.
      The Oban Secretary needs to send a strong letter to Stornoway Coastguard to remind them that the RNLI is not a public service for them to abuse.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 17

      Murdoch MacKenzie October 31, 2015 10:53 am Reply
  • Get a life all of you !
    You all act daily like the proverbial ‘big girls blouse’. Moan, complain, whine about anything and everything. Why you even have to voice a view on this sad story beats me.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 22 Thumb down 6

    Malcolm Kirk October 31, 2015 11:07 am Reply
    • The article is not about the sad story and neither are many of the comments. While the movement of the Police to Mull in the middle of the night was as a result of the tragic accident, it did not in any way justify the use of expensive Life Saving Equipment. If people kept their comments relative to the article then they would keep focus on the rights and wrongs of the issue.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 16

      Murdoch MacKenzie October 31, 2015 11:36 am Reply
      • MM, the only “rights or wrongs” of the issue are purely your invention. The police wanted to get to Mull in the middle of the night to attend to the consequences of a fatal accident. Despite what someone said about being able to get hold of a boat on Christmas Day, the Lifeboat is the *obvious* choice being constantly available with a trained crew. As for ” it did not in any way justify the use of expensive Life Saving Equipment”, that is a og-in-the-manger attitude. And as for “expensive”, I, and doubtless yourself, contribute to the RNLI so that the lifeboats and crew can have that equipment. Personally, as a long-time donor, I am glad to see it being used in an eminently sensible fashion. You’ve quoted that “The object of the Institution shall be to save lives at sea and on inland waters”. I for one would be dismayed if, on receiving a request for help, the Coxswain would turn round and say that it didn’t fulfil the “object of the Institution”.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

        Alex McKay November 1, 2015 1:01 pm Reply
  • I was referring to the ridiculous childish comments in total. The only extra expense was the diesel used for the journey. Who else would you call on to get to Mull from Oban in an emergency, but the lifeboat. The crew are volunteers who have signed up for a bit of excitement, adventure, the chance to help others, and self satisfaction in doing a worthwhile job. They are not press-ganged so unless a complaint was lodged by them – leave it out you lot.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 4

    Malcolm Kirk October 31, 2015 8:12 pm Reply
  • Very sad news…

    I am sure the police had their reasons for using the life boat…it is sickening and not suprising that some on here seem more focused on a few liters of diesel than on the reason for the call-out.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 8

    Karl Hughes November 1, 2015 4:35 am Reply
  • From the bottom up, I can understand why you all feel how you do but there is more to it.
    Karl, The reason the Stornoway Coastguard called out the Oban lifeboat was because they knew that it was available and knew from experience that they would respond positively, it made their job easier than calling round commercial operators and making arrangements. Actually the Police should have made the arrangements, there was no need to get the Coastguard involved.
    The Oban police could have arranged for a launch to be waiting to take the team across when they got to Oban. I haven’t been to Oban for a few years now but I’m sure I know enough to have got that organised. Their reason for getting to Mull was to complete the investigation into the tragedy, they probably had equipment and, likely, better knowledge of what had to be done before the road could be returned to public use again.
    Malcolm, There was no emergency that needed the Coastguard or the Lifeboat.
    Alex, You make the point that many contributors will be happy to see the lifeboat used for this type of service and I would agree with you if there were not other commercial alternatives. Despite the generosity of so many and the hard work of the lifeboat supporters all over Britain and Ireland, the fact remains that 65% of all lifeboat funding is from people who leave money to the RNLI in their wills. These people leave their legacies to provide the means to save lives. I would hate to think that any of them were discouraged by the laziness of the Police in making their own travel arrangements.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 7

    Murdoch MacKenzie November 1, 2015 2:04 pm Reply
    • Murdoch Mackenzie -“….laziness of the Police in making their own travel arrangements.” Does your ‘jobs worth’ mentality get any lower than this? The arrangements made to get the Police officers from Oban to Mull in order to investigate a fatal road traffic accident came via a request from Police Scotland via the Coastguard to the Oban Lifeboat. So what! As with most public and statutory organisations there is usually a preferred supplier, protocol and an agreement for mutual assistance between emergency services of which the RNLI is one as is Police Scotland. This was the safest (bearing in mind the time of night), the quickest and cheapest option to get those specialist police investigators on to Mull. Unless you can prove otherwise, put up or shut up. There is a family grieving on Mull and you are making an arse of yourself with your pathetic politically correct jobs worth mentality.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 14

      Jessie J November 1, 2015 10:50 pm Reply
      • It is you, Jessie J, the Police and the Coastguard who are making an arse of the lifeboat service. The Oban lifeboat is being used by you all as if it was a free night ferry. When the Police knew that they had a team coming up from Dumbarton they should have been ringing round the local commercial service providers to ask if they could arrange a vessel and crew to meet them at the slipway.
        Coastal Connections, Sea Safari, Oban Marina, Dunstaffnage Marina, I’m sure they could have helped or else guided them to somewhere suitable. The Oban Police should have arrangements with some of these companies for night ferry work in any case.
        Police-Coastguard-Lifeboat was the easy route so that is what they did first, at least that is the impression given in the article.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 6

        Murdoch MacKenzie November 2, 2015 1:38 pm Reply
  • When we needed to get people across to Mull on a Christmas Day, we rang the coastguard and they gave some phone numbers but that was when they were in Oban so knew the area, unlike now.

    I am sure that the police have contact details for several boat operators, obviously Calmac but also some other ones. If there was a major emergency on Mull (or another island) then there could be a need to get vehicles (fire engines and specialist vehicles) across and the RNLI would not be able to do that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

    Lundavra November 1, 2015 11:32 pm Reply
    • And in this case Lundavra it was people only who were being transported and one emergency service was used to assist another in the dead of the night for very sad reasons and also to expedite matters as quickly as possible in order to establish the facts at the scene of the accident. If you object so strongly I suggest you and your fellow jobs worths’ leave your money in your will to some other charity. In the meantime thank you Oban lifeboat for assisting the Police on this very sad occasion.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

      Jessie J November 2, 2015 7:21 am Reply
  • I really do give up on some of the people on this forum! We had a horrendous car crash involving a lovely, bright, bubbly lady who played a key part in the community; roads were closed, bus services didn’t work, people couldn’t get places they needed to be including hospital appointments and you are bitching about using the lifeboat.

    I’m a lifelong supporter of the RNLI too and in this part of the world, the RNLI are an integral part of the emergency services for islands. They brought over the police specialists who could determine, given Theresa’s death, what had happened.

    A question for you all who value money and semantics, if it had been a member of your family, would you not have wanted the swiftest possible response to find out what had happened to your loved one or would you be happy to wait for negotiations?

    You underestimate the people of Mull and the RNLI if you think money comes first!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 5

    Jade November 2, 2015 12:18 am Reply
    • I’m with you on this one Jade.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

      Jessie J November 2, 2015 1:31 pm Reply
  • I am so saddened by all of this. So very deeply saddened.
    There are people here affording expressions of humanity, compassion and utter sincerity, whilst others choose to peddle malodorous and pitiful nonsense.
    Theresa Wade was a most extraordinary young lady, who by dint of hard won effort, worked her way from the village of Bunnesan, through the village school, to Oban High. She was awarded the Dux in her final year for academic achievement, She was admitted to the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Glasgow, from which she gained an Honours degree in that most challenging subject. She worked for three years for the late Mr. Chris Evans at Fort William, before being offered the chance to take over the one-vet practice that embraces the entirety of Mull, Iona and a wee patch of the mainland too. This ambition she achieved at the age of 28. It was all that she had ever wanted to do.
    Had she been any parent’s child, I would hope to think that both the RNLI and the Police would have acted in entirely the same manner, were the circumstances the same, for the have brought credit to themselves in all that they have done, in acting as they did. I for one, shall remain in their debt.
    I was seeking to find some kindly reference to Theres’s remembrance and stumbled upon this. How simply awful.
    As it is, your other correspondents ought hang their heads in shame, for they have diminished themselves and shown a sterling neglect for any capacity to comprehend the magnitude of this apalling tragedy. They profess neither the wit nor wisdom to understand that Theresa’s parents devoted the better years of their lives to the cause of the RNLI on the Ross of Mull, nor acknowledge that under the prevailing circumstances, none but a fool would hearken to their shallow creed.
    For Heaven’s sake. Have you no humanity within you? This is Scotland. Here you have lost one of your brightest stars, and you seek to throw some public mud about the periphery of tragedy. For shame….for shame.
    As it is, Theresa was my partner, and I loved her beyond all measure. My loss, the loss to her immediate family and the loss to the people on this, our island home has left us savaged beyond redemption. Leave it be, and go and do something productive and helpful.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 28 Thumb down 1

    Charles E. G. Pease November 2, 2015 2:46 am Reply
    • Theresa Wade sounds a thoroughly talented, resourceful and committed young woman anyone would have been honoured to have known.
      One of the marks of civilised society that has traditionally been found in the United Kingdom has been the value put on a single life – a value that has, until recently, seen RAF Search and Rescue teams on rescue and emergency missions, along with the RNLI and the Coastguard, merchant shipping and members of the public.
      All have thrown all possible effort into saving even a single life under threat – in the mountains or on the seas, regardless of whether the person at risk was unlucky or had been foolish and irresponsible.
      Watching our society retreat from that position to one of cost-based decisions on search and rescue emergencies has been watching the dispatch of fundamental human values.
      The RNLI is funded by public subscription to assist in the saving of lives at sea. Its service to Police Scotland in taking officers to Mull in the early hours to get to work
      without delay in addressing the evidence of the dreadfully sad death of Theresa Wade, is in line with that aim.
      The risk of trying to erect cost-based razor wire boundaries on what can be used for what purpose in emergencies of this kind is that the same rubric can be applied to keeping island communities going on islands.
      This is not a line of argument many would wish to open up – although in time, it is likely to become a national issue.
      Living in a society where it actually matters when a life is at risk or has been lost is a healthy reminded that our humanity is still in working order.
      The day this sort of situation produces no more than a shrug, is the day we will have taken an irreversible wrong turning and will be a degraded species.
      And for Charles Pease – you and Theresa Wade’s wider family have all our sympathy. Dealing with the sudden, random and wasteful loss of someone you love is the most painful experience possible and the most impotent – because there is nothing whatsoever you can do about it. All you have is what you had – and that was obviously the sort of relationship of mutual love and esteem to which most aspire and fewer achieve.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

      newsroom November 2, 2015 6:50 pm Reply
      • Newsroom – having kicked off this really unsavoury thread with your initial speculative article (reporting what exactly?), I think the very least you can do is to do your utmost to clarify the position of the RNLI’s role in assisting our emergency services in such circumstances. Some of the comments, views and opinions expressed on this thread have been breathtakingly abhorrent and insensitive and have brought needless and unnecessary distress to those most affected. I think this is the very least you owe to Theresa and her family.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

        Jessie J November 2, 2015 8:35 pm Reply
        • There was absolutely nothing in the original article to generate the sort of responses that attached themselves to it.
          We were informed only that the Oban Lifeboat had launched in the small hours to convey a group of Police Scotland offices to Mull.
          We asked why the officers were going to the island at this hour, got no response; and asked the obvious question as to what their purpose might have been.
          We made no speculation whatsoever about their purpose.
          We had no information until much later that there had been a fatal accident on the island and that this was what brought the officers to Mull, by courtesy of the Oban lifeboat.
          When we heard that awful news we published a second article specifically about that fact.
          We have made it clear that we see nothing improper in the RNLI acting in this capacity in such a situation.
          Much of the service of the Oban Lifeboat is in ‘medevacs’ [medical evacuations] of people from Mull to Oban needing emergency medical assistance.
          Do those who queried the use of the lifeboat to get officers to Mull quickly to address a situation which had cost the life of a young woman also feel that the lifeboat ought not to be used for medevacs?

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

          newsroom November 2, 2015 9:34 pm Reply
          • Poor response from you Newsroom.

            Why did you post about something that was clearly unusual activity when you didn’t know why? This is why your article was speculative. You were able to report the precise time details of this activity but not the reasons why – poor reporting and poor judgement by yourselves in my view.

            Your second post about the reasons why Police officers were brought across came a full 24 hours after the event and when this tragic news was already in the public domain. I think you are still duty bound to ascertain and establish the policy and protocols involved with the RNLI and Police Scotland regarding situations like this as your original report has clearly opened a can of worms!

            As for medivacs, I am familiar with these as are all the residents of our islands. The RNLI are also used for the evacuation of pregnant women who are in labour.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

            Jessie J November 3, 2015 9:09 am
    • Charles,
      There is little I can say but offer my deepest condolences to you and all who are directly and indirectly affected by the los of Theresa. It is clear from your words that she is a loss not just to those closest to her, such as yourself and family and friends, those within her daily existence on the island but also to a wider community who may have never met her but hopefully will have unknowingly been affected by her existence through a ripple effect.
      I am deeply sorry that, in such a difficult time, you have been further hurt by what you have read on here and I can only hope that you cope as well as is possible under such sad circumstances, in the days, weeks, months and years ahead.
      Take good care.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

      Integrity? November 3, 2015 3:02 pm Reply
    • To Mr Pease,

      You and the wider family and friends have everyone’s deapest condolences and I hope your words are reflected upon.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

      No Cheese Here November 3, 2015 7:29 pm Reply
  • Applying the same caveat that I applied before (that being that I openly admit to having no knowledge of the lifeboat policy and procedures on such matters) I do find myself tending to agree with Jessie and Jade on this.
    The police obviously made a request to the lifeboat team (through whatever channels) and the lifeboat team agreed to help. Given the great service carried out by these people (as volunteers) I am more than happy to accept their willingness and readiness to help the police as confirmation it was the appropriate thing to do in the circumstances as they were aware of them. They know a lot better than anyone on this forum does.
    Questioning their role in this specific, very tragic, incident in conjunction with talk of having funded them for x years is something I am uncomfortable with. It is a little too close to saying I will only fund them if they do what I think they should do, or that ongoing donations to them give someone a right to challenge their decisions. I don’t think it does. Donations are made in the very best spirit and, with that, must come a trust in the organisation you are donating to. If you don’t have that trust then maybe your donation is better made elsewhere.
    Whatever the circumstances were when the decision was taken to make use of the lifeboat I have utter faith it was made for all the right reasons. If it was wrong and the lifeboat staff feel it was wrong then I think we can leave it to them to raise that with the appropriate people in a way that is properly informed and also sensitive to the terrible shock and grieving for the people in Mull. A sensitivity which I don’t feel has been shown in this thread.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

    Integrity? November 2, 2015 12:01 pm Reply
    • Thank you Integrity

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

      Jessie J November 2, 2015 1:30 pm Reply
  • I just looked up the first company I mentioned above. From their website,


    Coastal Connection is on standby 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    Call us +44 (0)791 961 5210

    It really does look like it’s just laziness on the Police’s part, or they think that the lifeboat service is their’s for the asking.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 13

    Murdoch MacKenzie November 2, 2015 1:58 pm Reply
    • I have read of plenty of occasions where the police have left roads closed overnight after a fatal accident and sent the investigation team next morning – this on roads with no alternate route without a long diversion. On a few occasions there have been suspicions that it was done to avoid having to pay overtime or pay another another force to do the investigation (before the merger).

      I am wondering with pending release of the highly critical report on Police Scotland’s botched handling of the M9 crash and various other failings, whether word has been passed down to speed up response times at any cost?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

      Lundavra November 2, 2015 2:55 pm Reply
  • If I’m not mistaken I think the police pay for the fuel used on such occasions but nothing towards running costs or lifeboat crew wages. Which will be a sizable amount.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

    Jim November 2, 2015 3:17 pm Reply
    • Aren’t the vast majority of crew members volunteers with only a very small number full time paid staff?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

      Integrity? November 2, 2015 3:33 pm Reply
      • I was very friendly with the old Tobermory captain. He was on a great salary as was the chief engineer. There was also a large number of crew are on fairly sizable retainers everyone also gets paid an hourly rate when they are on calls or even just training. I really think it is a bit deceiving when we are told they are crewed by volunteers . having said that I am a regular supporter.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

        jim November 2, 2015 4:15 pm Reply
        • Jim, all the information is available on the RNLI job section, Murdoch, you’ve obviously got too much time on your hands, stop moaning.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 6

          Richard November 2, 2015 4:47 pm Reply
          • Thanks Richard but I am long retired. I’m sure it is but how many people would ever look in such a place. Maybe potential crew men. I don’t have an issue with what they do but do feel they should be a bit more forthright with how crew men can do very well indeed with their pay.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

            Jim November 2, 2015 4:56 pm
          • Richard, I am not moaning as such. I am just making the case that it seems to me that Oban lifeboat seems to be getting used for work that cannot be deemed to be the purpose that it was funded for.
            I made that case at the top of this thread when the reason for the police going to Mull was not known to me or to For Argyll. People who knew the reason then disagreed with my comments using the tragedy as part of their argument.
            My argument is very simple. The police were not on a life-saving mission and there were commercial alternatives that should have been sounded out before the lifeboat was requested. Nobody is objecting to the use of the lifeboat if there was no alternative, but that does not seem to be the case.
            We have a wonderful lifeboat service in the UK and Ireland that is totally funded by charity, 65% of which, I cannot stress enough, is from people’s legacies. We have a duty to challenge what we see as any abuse of this service that could in any way undermine this foundation.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 6

            Murdoch MacKenzie November 3, 2015 8:56 am
          • Murdoch Mackenzie, you write:
            “My argument is very simple. The police were not on a life-saving mission and there were commercial alternatives that should have been sounded out before the lifeboat was requested. Nobody is objecting to the use of the lifeboat if there was no alternative, but that does not seem to be the case. We have a wonderful lifeboat service in the UK and Ireland that is totally funded by charity, 65% of which, I cannot stress enough, is from people’s legacies. We have a duty to challenge what we see as any abuse of this service that could in any way undermine this foundation. “

            So having dug yourself a big hole by operating your mouth before engaging your brain you continue to dig! How many more crass statements are you going to insist on offering up! Before you answer, consider carefully these questions, (I don’t want a reply, but I would like you to reflect):

            WHAT exactly do you know about this particular situation and the circumstances that Police Scotland found themselves investigating??
            Do you have inside knowledge and information to prove that Police Scotland didn’t try and make alternative arrangements to get to Mull at 2 a.m. in the morning?
            Do you know what the weather and sea conditions were at the time?
            Do you know how long it was going to take for a commercial operator to be available?
            Do you know if said commercial operators are appropriately insured to participate in such services at this time of the night?
            Do you know if engaging such a commercial operator was value for money for Police Scotland?
            Do you know that Police Scotland do not pay for the services of the RNLI in such circumstances?
            Do you know the exact protocol and agreement between the RNLI and Police Scotland for such matters?
            Do you know how many times previously such a request has been made?
            Where/what is your evidence that Police Scotland are abusing the RNLI’s role?
            Do you know the weather conditions on Mull that night which may have dictated the urgency of more Police Officers to preserve the scene of the fatality for investigation?
            Do you know how many Police officers were on duty that night on Mull?
            Do you know how many Police officers were on duty that night who were having to deal with a fatal road accident, who had to deal with other road users and implement a huge and challenging diversion, deal with the other vehicle driver who REFUSED a road side breath test, who was arrested, taken into custody and then REFUSED to provide a specimen of breath at the local Police Station?
            Have you even considered that the transportation of these Police officers at 2 am in the morning from Oban to Mull courtesy of the RNLI was so that the local Police could be released from the scene/investigation in order to make that long and sad drive through Glen More to the home of Theresa and her partner Charles to deliver that devastating news in person??

            Did you think of any of these Murdoch Mackenzie before acting as judge and jury on whether or not Police Scotland are abusing and making inappropriate use of the RNLI? Because I can assure that the Police officer in charge of this situation would have had to consider all of these questions and I have NO DOUBT that the correct decision was made to use the RNLI that night.
            PS: Islanders raise a phenomenal amount of money for the RNLI each and every single year.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 5

            Jessie J November 3, 2015 11:50 am
        • Jim,
          Just for a start the Lifeboat does not have a Captain it has a Coxswain.
          Secondly the Fairly sizeable retainers are peanuts with a lot of the crew not even claiming them but putting them towards Crew get-togethers
          The Full Time employees barely earn the Average wage, let along anything to compensate for the actual job they are doing and the risks taken.
          They are volunteers , end of.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 4

          Steve Barlow November 3, 2015 11:12 am Reply
    • I don’t know why my comments have attracted thumbs downs. I only wanted to clear up the question of cost. I do not have an issue with the use of the coast guard, lifeboat, navy or RAF helicopter or mountain rescue in these situations. Such a tragic event i’m sure everybody would do what they could to help.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

      jim November 2, 2015 7:28 pm Reply
      • I wouldn’t worry about it Jim. There are people on here who would give you a thumbs down if you simply replied to a request for directions to a local chemist!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 6

        Integrity? November 2, 2015 8:09 pm Reply
  • This is a sad story for the family friends and colleagues of the individual concerned. Personally the RNLI are a fantastic organisation and I would leave it to those volunteers to decide whether they assist or not. It is their call.

    issue for me is the poor level of journalistic practice on this web page and is partiality.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

    No Cheese Here November 3, 2015 10:25 am Reply
  • I respond to those replies since last I wrote, for with time upon my hands attempting to balance tragedy with resolution, I need to determine whether the overall consenus, allows that this forum is representative of the state of the nation today.
    Mr. Mackenzie is clearly troubled in his thinking; his acolytes no less the same, and in this trial, I glady afford them solace in their condition. They have my sympathy.
    I have no axe to grind myself, but have always thought it politic to seek the best of any situation, and where it fails, walk gently, until comprehension of the full facts are held in my possession.
    The emergency services are not islands of themselves, whether funded by public subscription or as a civil function. Between them, they each seek to cover all the bases. And when necessity demands or requires, they each resolve to fulfill the honourable roles in which they are placed, or have willingly placed themselves.
    They all too frequently, and so often tragically, are compelled to draw upon the experience and capabilites of others, whose skills fall outside their own remit. None seek a monopoly, but recognise the validity of their own position in the context of their experience and comprehension of a situation.
    Take these organisations, for such is what they are, and ask…. In any given situation, having mindful regard to circumstance, how resolutions may be achieved with promptitude, efficiency and the very best of determination, the aims and objectives are always mutual. Lifeboat, is a word that encompasses both expression and intention. Think upon it.
    From my own experience, I have long been privileged to witness these varied organisations collaborate in situations here upon the Isle of Mull, which illustrate the complexities that address crises in an island community. For we do not have the priviledges that are accorded our friends upon the mainland. And unless one has the benefit of comprehension, it is ill-judged to make assumptions that are based upon ignorance. It disturbs me still, that some would be so base as to confirm that which we have merely supposed.
    Some years ago, as an example, I recall too well from first hand experience, the needs of a small child here that had been taken unwell. The local doctor was concerned for the welfare of their patient and determined the necessity of the childs removal to hospital in Glasgow.
    The Air Ambulance was pre-occupied with a road accident of some magnitude, as it crew sought to apply their skills to save lives. Immediately, Strathclyde Police authorised their own helicopter, to airlift medical specialists to the aid of the child and landed but a few hundred metres from here, to stabilise his conditon.
    Given that the helicopter was unsuited for medivac operations, the Coastguard were contacted contemporaneously, to assist in the operation. Soon, we had two helicopters, two specialist physicians, several crew who were trained with paramedical skills, a resident physician and the aircrew.
    All for the sake of a child in desperate need of help. Shall we begin to count the pennies?
    They didn’t equivocate about their roles; instead, they fulfilled their duties because they were professionals, whose mutual objective was a common cause.
    That the outcome a success, was not providential, but a testament to willing and productive co-operation. The wee boy visted both Thersa and myself recently, though now, he is a young adult. That Theresa was a participant in helping that day, has oft-times been remembered by her family and some several months ago returned, to remind us that things might all to readily have been all so very different.
    So when someone expresses a view, that measures value in brass tacks and farthings, rather than pure function and good intention, then I as others am all too ready to respond.
    My sense of outrage is somewhat tempered today, for I was troubled indeed when first I encountered Mr. Mackenzie’s irrational outburst. Today, I afford him my apologies and sympathy and trust that he is now feeling much the better for the amelioration of his condition. I would gladly send him a card if it helped.
    Meanwhile, should he feel the urgency of another expression of disturbance, I am entirely confident that this island would reach out most glady, in order that we might accomodate him. I offer him every assurance that we would afford him the warmest of welcomes.
    In conclusion, for Theresa’s sake, I thank those whose generous words of kindness, remind me all too well that an episode such as has been experienced of late in this community, is more akin to the Scotland in which I believe.
    As to the remainder, well….. I have high hopes for them, for they can only improve from their present situation.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

    Charles E. G. Pease November 3, 2015 10:08 pm Reply
  • Charles, I now realise who you are, so may I offer my sincere sympathy for your sad and tragic bereavement.
    I apologise if my words have added to your hurt, they were not meant to.
    As an outsider looking in, I commented on the article as it was written. Having made my stance, based on the annual statistics posted by Oban Lifeboat, I have stuck with it. That was maybe wrong in the circumstances and should have been left for another day.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

    Murdoch MacKenzie November 4, 2015 11:27 am Reply
  • Murdoch, I thank you for that and am appreciative that we find a resolution to momentary discord. I bear you no ill-will for your opinions ought be heard, even if people may disagree with them. Such is the privilege of free speech In this instance as you say, the timing was wrong. Now, we can retreat a little while the balance is restored.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

    Charles E. G. Pease November 4, 2015 1:40 pm Reply
  • Nothing has been said above about the driver of the other vehicle. I sincerely hope that FA will give full coverage of the expected future court case when it occurs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    Jack Wilson November 5, 2015 12:00 pm Reply

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