The first call came Saturday afternoon (7 December) as the lifeboat launched in gale force winds and high seas, alongside the Islay RNLI lifeboat, to assist a 28m vessel that had lost steering in the Sound of Jura, just north of the MacCormaig Islands.
Islay were first to arrive on scene and it was established that the casualty vessel was able to make way using its emergency steering. Oban lifeboat was requested to rendezvous with the Islay volunteers and the casualty vessel to take over the escort.
Having battled high seas and poor visibility, the Oban crew arrived on scene shortly after 6pm.
While the casualty vessel was able to make way under its own power, the decision was made to continue escorting it to the safety of Craobh Haven Marina.
Given the weather conditions, with wind speeds of up to 50mph and the size of the vessel, it was decided that the Islay lifeboat should also remain on scene. The vessel made a steady speed north towards Craobh accompanied by both lifeboats.
On arrival at 8.15pm, the Oban lifeboat used its searchlights to illuminate the entrance in driving rain, giving the casualty vessel enough visibility to manoeuvre into the marina.
After several attempts at berthing in extremely challenging conditions, the vessel made it alongside with assistance from the Oban crew and, with the help of Craobh Haven Marina’s staff, the vessel was safely tied alongside by 9pm.
The second call came yesterday afternoon (Sunday 8 December) when the volunteer crew launched at 3pm to a report of a yacht adrift off Corpach.
The lifeboat made best speed in the conditions, arriving on scene by 4.30pm. Two crew members were put on board the yacht to determine whether anyone was on board.
With nothing found, it was decided a line would be put ashore to a nearby pier to ensure it didn’t drift further. The Fort William Coastguard Team were also on scene to take lines ashore and secure the vessel.