Local News for Friday 13th July 2018

University Lecturer is first to swim the North Minch
3 hardy scots took on an incredible challenge this week when they decided to swim the North Minch!
Colin MacLeod from Stornoway, Colleen Blair from Perth and offshore worker Norman Todd delayed the big swim from the original start day of Saturday till 4am on Sunday morning when the weather was considered more swimmer friendly.

Unfortunately, when Colin was well into the 24-mile swim the support vessel and other swimmers lost sight of him in the water and the Coastguard, RNLI and other agencies were alerted. Hearing the calls, Cal Mac Ferry Loch Seaforth diverted towards Gairloch area – the end point of the swim - launched its fast rescue boat and plucked the exhausted swimmer safe and sound from the sea, he was then taken on board the Loch Seaforth.
Mr Macleod was winched off the ferry by the Coastguard Helicopter and flown to Stornoway airport from where he was taken to hospital by ambulance.
Offshore worker Norman Todd, also got into difficulties within sight of the finish line near Gairloch and had to be rescued due to exhaustion.
Meanwhile, Colleen Blair swam on through the Minch battling temperatures ranging from 9 degrees to 14 degrees whilst at the same time trying to avoid the numerous jellyfish, she completed the first ever solo swim of the North Minch in just over 18 hours.
Commenting afterwards University Lecturer Colleen said: ‘We didn’t realise how difficult it would be…it was a difficult swim’

RNLI Leverburgh Naming Ceremony
Members of the Public are invited to attend the Naming Ceremony & Service of Dedication, for the new Shannon Class Lifeboat at Leverburgh RNLI lifeboat station tomorrow - Saturday 14th July.
The naming ceremony also coincides with "Shannon Week", which is being held this week to mark 5 years since the first Shannon Class Lifeboat entered the RNLI fleet.
The Lifeboat, RNLB Stella and Humfrey Berkeley will officially be handed over to the station by a representative of the Berkeley family who are the main donors for the boat.
There will be a number of invited guests coming along on the day, for which there will be reserved seating but the RNLI would also like to invite the general public - both locals and visitors to the area - to the service. The ceremony starts at 1pm but people are advised to arrive early as parking close to the pier will be limited.

Coastguard Rescue Teams callout
Stornoway Coastguard Rescue Teams received their 45th callout of the year earlier in the week when an off duty Coastguard Officer, who was in the uig area at the time, spotted climbing ropes hanging on a cliff face but with no sign of any climbers. The off duty officer then reported what was seen to Stornoway Coastguard and Rescue Teams from South Lochs, Bragar and Ness were tasked to assist their colleagues from Miaviag and Breasclete at the scene in Mangersta, Uig.

As the Rescue Teams started to arrive on scene, the climbers were located safe and sound and had been hidden from view. This was a false alarm with good intent and provided a good training opportunity for the Teams involved.

Stornoway Coastguard would like to remind the public of the importance of keeping vigilant when around the coastline and to know to ring 999 and ask for the Coastguard if anything untoward is seen.