Emer­gency ser­vices de­serve high praise

The Oban Times - - Districts -

SATUR­DAY was, as we re­port to­day on page five, the busiest day of the year so far for Oban lifeboat.

The vol­un­teer RNLI crew re­sponded to three call- outs in rapid suc­ces­sion af­ter tak­ing part in a multi-agency emer­gency ex­er­cise in which the com­bined ser­vices re­sponded to a sim­u­lated plane crash at Oban Air­port.

It brings into sharp re­lief the su­perb work done by all our emer­gency ser­vices. They race to­wards trou­ble when it strikes while the rest of us run away.

The emer­gency ser­vices are rightly hailed as he­roes.

But it is per­haps the RNLI crews who are es­pe­cially de­serv­ing of our grat­i­tude given that the vast ma­jor­ity of them are vol­un­teers.

The coxswain of Oban’s lifeboat, the Mora Edith MacDon­ald, Richard John­son and me­chanic Tom Kennedy are salaried se­nior mem­bers but the rest of the crew, from op­er­a­tions man­ager Billy Forteith down, risk their lives all too reg­u­larly purely out of a sense of public duty and a de­sire to aid those in trou­ble.

In­deed, very of­ten they put to sea in the most ap­palling con­di­tions – con­di­tions in which any­one else would avoid set­ting sail al­to­gether. We are all ex­ceed­ingly lucky to have such self­less in­di­vid­u­als are among us.

Tom Kennedy, left, Billy Forteith and Richard John­son.

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