RNLI crew hon­oured for gal­lantry dur­ing res­cue

The Oban Times - - News - CAMERON GRAY ed­i­tor@oban­times.co.uk

A HEROIC Is­lay lifeboat crew have been hon­oured af­ter brav­ing the el­e­ments and sav­ing a sailor’s life dur­ing a se­vere storm.

The coxswain of the Is­lay lifeboat, David MacLel­lan, 46, and his crew of four were pre­sented with the RNLI bronze medal for gal­lantry for their dis­play of great skill and sea­man­ship in sav­ing a yachts­man in an ex­tremely chal­leng­ing en­vi­ron­ment.

The award, one of the char­ity’s high­est ac­co­lades, was pre­sented in front of a crowd of more than 120 at Bow­more Vil­lage Hall, Is­lay, on Satur­day March 25. The res­cue op­er­a­tion which, lasted more than 18 hours, took place on Fe­bru­ary 16 last year.

David, who has been with the char­ity since 1990, thanked his vol­un­teer crew and fundrais­ers.

He said: ‘I might have been the one mak­ing the de­ci­sions and helm­ing the boat, but this was un­doubt­edly a fan­tas­tic team ef­fort with the crew on the deck do­ing the hard work.

‘We have a good team here on Is­lay with the crew, op­er­a­tions and fundrais­ers. The fundrais­ers do a fan­tas­tic job ev­ery year rais­ing funds to pro­vide the com­mu­nity with the best pos­si­ble boat and equip­ment.’

RNLI chief ex­ec­u­tive Paul Bossier, who pre­sented the award, said: ‘ The medal is awarded in recog­ni­tion of your per­sonal courage, your lead­er­ship and your re­mark­able sea­man­ship on that night. You fully de­serve this medal and I know that you will wear it with pride for years to come.’

He ac­knowl­edged the dif­fi­cult job of be­ing an RNLI crew­man, adding: ‘It calls you out at all hours of the day and night. You deal with the el­e­ments at their most beau­ti­ful and also at their most sav­age, and you do so to save the lives of peo­ple who find them­selves in trou­ble.’

David’s team – me­chanic David McArthur, 42, nav­i­ga­tor Thomas Coope, 31, and crew mem­bers Dun­can MacGil­lvray, 32, and Peter Thomas, 38 – all re­ceived framed let­ters of thanks from the RNLI chair­man. Cap­tain Martin Porter, 62, of the Deep En­ergy pipelay­ing ves­sel, was also given a framed let­ter of thanks.

The gal­lant Is­lay lifeboat were hon­oured at Bow­more, with coxswain David MacLel­lan, sec­ond right, re­ceiv­ing the bronze medal.

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