Oban Lifeboat launched in short order at 16.45 on 20th June, at the request of Stornoway Coastguard, to go to the assistance of a motor vessel with one person aboard, reported to be in serious difficulty in the Falls of Lora below the Connel Bridge in the neck of the entrance to Loch Etive.
The Falls of Lora are a spectacular set of overfalls at the mouth of Loch Etive where tides are frequently recorded at around ten knots, this equates to a movement of 4,600 tonnes of water per second at peak flow rate, with a drop of 1.2 metres.
The lifeboat made best speed towards the vessel and arrived within fifteen minutes to find that the vessel’s skipper had managed to deploy his anchor in the very strong currents on the flood spring tide.
Fortunately, for the time being, the anchor was holding the vessel off the rocks behind it.
The lifeboat managed to manoeuvre upstream of the casualty and get a tow line aboard for the motor vessel’s skipper to attach.
Once the tow was attached, he then had to cut his own anchor line as the lifeboat took up the slack and proceeded to tow the vessel out of the strong current to safety.
The skipper was seen to be bleeding from an injury to one hand sustained whilst deploying his anchor, so the doctor who is a member of the lifeboat crew attended to him whilst his boat was put back on its mooring.
Once the vessel was secured, the casualty was then taken back to the Lifeboat station where at 18:12 he was transferred by the doctor to hospital for further assessment and treatment.