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RNLI aids liveaboard aground in Loch Sunart

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The Tobermory RNLI lifeboat and two fish farm boats went to the assistance of a liveaboard that ran aground on rocks near the entrance to Loch Sunart on Monday (4 September).

The Honeydew – familiar to many divers as the vessel formerly known as Valkyrie in the Orkney Islands – found itself stuck on the rocks of Sligneach Mor, some 2.7 nautical miles to the northeast of Tobermory, in a rapidly falling tide.

One of the work boats transferred 11 divers to the lifeboat, and then returned to the Honeydew to help the liveaboard crew set the anchor and secure the vessel, before taking them to the lifeboat as well.

A few hours later, the lifeboat – and the liveaboard crew – together with the work boats returned to the Honeydew to get it refloated on the rising tide. Once the Honeydew was refloated and checked over for damage, she made her own way back to Tobermory with the lifeboat escorting.

In a statement on their Facebook page, Honeydew owner Sarah Chan said: “As some of you may have heard, we had a bit of a hair-raising experience this week aboard the MV Honeydew. Fortunately I’m pleased to report that all aboard were kept safe and the vessel herself is fine – in fact, we were able to get back to normal operations within 48 hours of the incident.

“Enormous thanks are due to the Tobermory RNLI Lifeboat and to Mowi Scotland’s Beinn Mor, Sarah Ann and their crew, who played a major part in the rescue and have continued to go above and beyond in helping us out, as well as other boats who came to assist us, including the Compass Rose. We are so grateful that you were there and willing to assist when we most needed it!”

Sarah was also full of praise for her guests – “A very special shout-out to our guests on board this week who were absolutely amazing throughout – keeping calm and following instructions to the letter, being incredibly understanding, helpful and supporting throughout and remaining upbeat and cheerful through the whole experience. There couldn't possibly be a better group of divers to have on board when things go a bit wrong.”

Lifeboat coxswain David McHaffie also expressed his thanks, and said: “We would like to extend our gratitude to all vessels who responded to offer assistance during this service. The crew of vessels Sarah Ann and Beinn Mowi were exceptionally helpful in attending to the casualty vessel and took time out of their working day and beyond to assist us.”

Photo credit: Tobermory RNLI

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Mark Evans
Mark Evans
Scuba Diver's Editorial Director Mark Evans has been in the diving industry for nearly 25 years, and has been diving since he was just 12 years old. nearly 40-odd years later and he is still addicted to the underwater world.
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