RNLI rescues nine divers from Loch Alsh after boat failure

A group of submerged divers have had to be rescued after their boat suffered mechanical failure in Loch Alsh.

Kyle RNLI was alerted to the incident by the dive master as the boat had drifted away from the dive area resulting in the group of nine - who were submerged at the time – needing assistance.

The call was received on Saturday at 11.55am.

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The Kyle lifeboat Spirit of Fred arrived on the scene two minutes after launching to discover some of the divers had already surfaced and were being assisted by nearby vessels.

Stranded divers. Picture: RNLI
Stranded divers. Picture: RNLI

Three of the divers were alongside the SD Raasay, but due to the size of the vessel were unable to get onboard.

The lifeboat picked the divers out of the water and transferred them onto the larger vessel, before going to assist another member of the group who had just surfaced.

The fishing vessel Helen Bruce picked up another three divers and transferred them onto the SD Raasay while the lifeboat went to search for the remaining two who were still underwater.

A short while later the final members of the diving party surfaced and were picked up by the lifeboat.

Divers being helped from the water. Picture: RNLI

Once it was established that everyone was accounted for and uninjured, the SD Raasay took some of the group back to Kyle whilst the lifeboat went to assist the stricken dive boat. The lifeboat took the boat under tow back to Kyleakin before returning to the lifeboat station at 1:45pm.

A Kyle RNLI spokesperson said: “The diving party had just purchased their new dive boat and were extremely well equipped, however unfortunately they were extremely unlucky and the boat suffered a severe mechanical failure which left it completely disabled in the water.

"Due to the swift action of the dive master calling for assistance early, the entire group were all recovered quickly and safely.”

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