Tragedy averted af­ter man is found in wa­ter

The Oban Times - - Districts -

AN UN­USUAL and po­ten­tially tragic sce­nario played out in Tober­mory ear­lier this month.

A man was spot­ted sleep­ing on the is­land’s RNLI board­ing boat, which is sit­u­ated ap­prox­i­mately 25 me­tres from the shore.

Upon wak­ing up, he at­tempted to start the en­gine but was hauled to shore by the lifeboat skip­per af­ter be­ing found to be soak­ing wet.

The man was taken to the lifeboat sta­tion, where he re­ceived emer­gency care.

The skip­per later dis­cov­ered a small boat on the beach filled with wa­ter, which, it is be­lieved, the man used and cap­sized, fall­ing into the wa­ter when tring to get onto the board­ing boat.

Tober­mory RNLI Skip­per, David McHaffie, said: ‘This in­ci­dent could so eas­ily have turned into a tragedy. Cold wa­ter is a real killer. Peo­ple of­ten don’t re­alise how cold our seas can be – even in sum­mer months the sea tem­per­a­ture rarely ex­ceeds 12 de­grees, which is low enough to trig­ger cold-wa­ter shock.

‘If you en­ter the wa­ter sud­denly at that tem­per­a­ture, you’ll start gasp­ing un­con­trol­lably, which can draw wa­ter into your lungs and cause drown­ing.

‘The cold­ness also numbs you, leav­ing you help­less – un­able to swim or shout for help.

‘The RNLI is urg­ing ev­ery­one but par­tic­u­larly men aged 18 to 40 to re­spect the wa­ter.’

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