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The RNLI’s Barra island lifeboat station is looking for volunteers to join the all-weather lifeboat crew, saving lives at sea from Castlebay.

There’s been an all-weather lifeboat in Barra since 1931, when the Watson class lifeboat John R Webb was put into service.

Since then, Barra crews have launched from Castlebay into seas which were described as ‘diabolical’ by an investigator in 1979.

That was after the 52ft Barnett class lifeboat R A Colby Cubbin No 3 capsized off the west coast of Scotland, whilst answering a distress call from the Danish coaster Lone Dania.

Today the station operates the largest class of lifeboat, a Severn class called Edna Windsor, which has served the island since 1998.

In 2006 Coxswain Donald Macleod was awarded the RNLI bronze medal in recognition of his actions when the lifeboat escorted the damaged yacht Vijara to safety in severe gale conditions, with 11-metre seas breaking over the lifeboat.

New volunteers will join this crew, with its history and quality, helping to save lives at sea by ensuring that the lifeboat is in a state of permanent readiness and crewing the lifeboat on service and exercise, under the command of the coxswain.

Volunteers are required to train and maintain their competence, be on call for lifeboat shouts, attend exercises and contribute to the overall upkeep of the station, lifeboats and equipment.

You can find out more about the role and what it involves here

Applications are invited online at  or for further information contact the RNLI’s volunteering team on 01202 663346 or by email on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The picture is from Barra Island RNLI lifeboat.