‘Change of plan’ sailor sparks lifeboat and helicopter search

Oban and Islay lifeboat crews and a rescue helicopter were called out to search for an overdue sailor from Ardfern

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Sailors are being reminded to let shore contacts know of any change of plan after two lifeboats and a rescue helicopter were called out to search for a missing yacht.

Concerns about an overdue sailor from Ardfern led to lifeboat volunteers from Oban and Islay and a coastguard helicopter from Prestwick being alerted at 4.30am on Sunday.

A 17ft yacht with one person on board had not returned home from a day sail out of Loch Craignish.

Oban lifeboat headed to the loch and Islay lifeboat was also launched.

A search that included checking anchorages and moorings for a vessel fitting the description found nothing so the Oban crew continued down the coastline towards Crinan and Carsaig Bay, while Islay lifeboat searched the area further south and into Loch Sween.

Shortly after 7am, the Islay crew spotted the missing yacht safely moored at Tayvallich with the sailor onboard safe and well.

‘Thankfully the yacht and person on board were found safe and well, however, this could have been very different and whilst our volunteers remain ready to launch, this serves as a reminder to make sure onshore contacts are kept informed and notified of any plan changes,’ said a lifeboat spokesperson.