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Today is SOS Day, a national fund-raiser for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI). To mark the day by underlining the service the lifeboats provide, the RNLI have released statistics on Scottish lifeboats and their crews.
In the past year the highest number rescued is credited to South Queensferry near Edinburgh. This lifeboat saved 75 people and was the busiest inshore crew.
Two of Argyll’s lifeboats were mentioned in the news release.
- The Oban lifeboat was the busiest Scottish crew, making 55 launches.
- The Islay lifeboat saved the lives of seven people when it was called to a stricken boat. The RNLI says that the crew were operating in conditions described as like: ‘a deep spin in a washing machine’.
Some curious – even surreal – incidents are noted in the RNLI information.
- In July 2008, the crew of a yacht with an empty coffin strapped to the deck had to be rescued by Barra lifeboat crew on the Western Isles after losing their way on passage from America to Norway to deliver the coffin to a bar in Oslo.
- Also in July,anxious members of the public spotted twenty pregnant cows in the Dornoch Firth, in Easter Ross, resulting in a series of 999 calls. Coastguard crews from Portmahomack and Dornoch rushed to the scene, along with the Dornoch Inshore Lifeboat. Local farmers however told the rescue crews that the cows were just cooling off in the sea because of the heatwave then scorching the country.
The photograph above, of the Oban lifeboat, the Mora Edith MacDonald, is by the copyright holder, Dennis Hardley.
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