Oban lifeboat rescues unconscious freediver

Oban lifeboat launches RIB to reach the casualty on Maiden Island (Stephen Lawson / RNLI)
Oban lifeboat launches RIB to reach the casualty on Maiden Island (Stephen Lawson / RNLI)

Oban’s volunteer lifeboat crew and paramedics were called out yesterday (27 March) to assist a freediver at the northern entrance to Oban Bay in the west of Scotland.

The man had been discovered by his four friends face-down in the sea off Maiden Island, unconscious and not breathing after surfacing from a dive.

Stornoway Coastguard responded to a 999 call and informed the lifeboat station of the situation just before 3pm. After the short journey out, two of the crew used a small inflatable to manoeuvre close to the rocky shore of the small island, from where they were able to recover the diver.

They put him on oxygen and brought him to the lifeboat, where he was treated by two Scottish Ambulance Service paramedics during a fast transfer back to shore. Two other members of the dive group accompanied him as he was taken on to hospital.

The inflatable crew stayed behind to transfer the other two members of the group to a nearby beach, where they were all later picked up by the returning lifeboat.

“This was a multi-agency rescue, not just involving our colleagues from the Scottish Ambulance Service but also Coastguard teams on the shore and the Coastguard helicopter Rescue 199 from Prestwick,” said Oban Lifeboat coxswain Ally Cerexhe. “We’d particularly like to thank the crew of a local fishing-boat who were helping on the scene when we arrived.”

Oban Lifeboat, which serves one of the UK's largest stretches of coastline, celebrated 50 years of saving lives at sea last year. The RNLI recently announced that it was launching a Mayday Mile challenge, requesting volunteers to cover a mile a day by any means to raise funds for the lifeboats during May.

Also on Divernet: Behind The Scenes At The RNLI, Freediver Rescued Off Devon, Devon Lifeboat Crew Rescue Drifting DiversSkye Dive-Boat Fails With Divers DownDivers Found In Dark In Wales



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