[Updated 15.45 below] ; Islay’s RNLI lifeboat. the Severn class Helmut Schroder of Dunlossit II, launched at 00.36 this morning to go to the aid of a 40′ yacht that had made a distress call after hitting the reef at the Skerrvore light, 12 miles SW of Tiree.
Conditions at this dangerous location were such that the lifeboat’s skilled volunteer crew were unable to secure a tow to the casualty yacht and a coastguard helicopter is now involved to get the skipper off.
The passage ftom her home station at Port Askaig on the Sound of Islay out to the Skerryvore will have been a challenging one, passing the other major wrecking reef of the Torran Rocks at the Dubh Artach Light on the way.
Update 15.45: The Barra lifeboat was also involved in ths shout, which finished with the skipper being airliftd to safety. We do not yet have information on the fate of the yacht but the report on the prevailing sea and weather conditions at the Skerryvore reef would not signal optimism.
The Islay lifeboat is on her way home after a long shout – through the Sound of Mull and heading south down the Firth of Lorn, passing the entrance to Loch Spelve.