Empty kayak sparks six hour multi agency search involving Tobermory RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

An empty kayak floating in the Sound of Iona sparked a multi-agency search involving Tobermory RNLI lifeboat last night (16 July 2019).

RNLI/Sam Jones

Tobermory RNLI lifeboat returning from six hour shout

Shortly after weekly training had concluded, Tobermory RNLI's volunteer crew rushed back to the lifeboat station after their pagers had sounded just after 10.30pm. A report had been received that a kayaker had been seen to leave the island of Erraid heading for Fionnphort on the Isle of Mull earlier in the evening. However, his empty kayak had been spotted adrift in the Sound of Iona near to Fidden Farm campsite.

Arriving on the scene, the lifeboat crew carried out coastline searches using the lifeboat, its daughter craft the 'Y boat' and white parachute flares. Meanwhile Coastguard Rescue Teams from the Ross of Mull, Tobermory and Craignure carried out shore searches.

With the kayak having been recovered with its paddles seemingly stowed away, the search was suspended for the night just after 3am. The search is due to resume this morning.

Tobermory RNLI Coxswain, David McHaffie said: 'Although sea conditions were good, it was an unusually dark night for this time of year which made searching for both our crew and the coastguard teams challenging and the coastline in the area is also very rugged and remote. We are hopeful that the kayaker is safely ashore. If anyone has any information which may assist, please dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.'

Notes to editors

Tobermory RNLI's annual Lifeboat Day will take place on Sunday 11 August with a Harry Potter theme.

For further information, please contact

Dr Sam Jones, Tobermory RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager and Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07747601900 or samantha_jones@rnli.org.uk

Martin Macnamara, Regional Media Officer (Scotland), 07920 365929 or martin_macnamara@rnli.org.uk

Gemma McDonald, Regional Media Manager (Scotland), 07826 900639 or gemma_mcdonald@rnli.org.uk

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