Kyle Maritime Day raises £4,500 for lifeboat fund

Kyle RNLI’s annual Maritime Day last Saturday raised over £4,500.

Despite appalling weather in the morning a large crowd came out to support the event and were welcomed by a performance by the Lochalsh Junior Pipe Band. This was followed by a dramatic demonstration by the Kyle fire brigade of how casualties are freed following a road accident.

With both Kyle’s ‘Spirit of Fred. Olsen’ and Portree’s ‘Stanley Watson Barker’ in attendance, members of the public were able to get up close to two very different types of lifeboat. They also got to see the Kyle crew in action, as they were scrambled during the afternoon to assist a yacht in difficulty on Loch Carron (see below).

Throughout the day the SERCO boat ‘Warden’ proved a huge hit, with people queuing up for their turn to board the vessel, while the Coastguard, Kintail Mountain Rescue and a police CCTV camera van were also in attendance with their vehicles and equipment for people to look around.

Rope and wet sponge throwing proved a hit with the crowd once again, while many people took advantage of the sea safety tent to have the condition of their lifejackets checked.

A spokesman for the Kyle RNLI said: “A great day was had by all and Kyle of Lochalsh RNLI would like to thank everyone who took part, came along to support us and helped to make it such a success.”

Kyle RNLI crew members Sandra MacRae and Emma Noble are pictured with mascot Stormy Stan.

Meanwhile, the Kyle lifeboat crew had a busier weekend than anticipated, receiving two call-outs, one during their annual Maritime Day celebration.

At around 3.30pm on Saturday the lifeboat crew were paged by Stornoway Coastguard following reports of a yacht in trouble in the Strome area of Loch Carron. The crew were taking part in the RNLI fundraising Maritime Day and they caused quite a stir when they launched in front of the attending crowd.

On arrival at Loch Carron the Kyle crew found the ‘Pegasus’ had become entangled in a mooring and was unable to move. A lifebat crew member was put onboard the yacht to assess the situation and cut the yacht free from the rope, with the ‘Pegasus’ then taken under tow to a nearby mooring. The lifeboat stood by to ensure that the yacht was safely tied up before returning to Kyle at 4.55pm.

The following day the lifeboat launched at 2.36pm to help in the search for an overdue hillwalker in the Toscaig area of the Applecross peninsula. Once on the scene the crew began a systematic search of the coastline before landing on shore to search two isolated bothies. Stornoway Coastguard helicopter was also searching the area and located a male hillwalker who required assistance. However, this was not the person reported overdue and so the lifeboat crew continued their search.

The overdue hillwalker was subsequently found safe and well and did not require any assistance. The lifeboat was stood down and returned to station at 5.10pm.