Arriving at Kylerhea for another installment of paddling fun, we passed a Coastguard van heading the other way. This was the first sign that things were not normal. At the slipway we saw a heavily laden ship just a hundred metres or so away. As it swung round in the tide we were able to see the Mallaig lifeboat alongside, and the smaller Kyle lifeboat at the bow. Switching our radios on, we could work out what was going on. The stricken ship had a damaged rudder stuck hard to port. This mishap occurred in the fastest tide-race in the area, where the deep water channel is just half a cable (90m) wide at the southern end.
Fortunately the conditions were calm, and the two lifeboats were able to keep the ship in deep water until the arrival of a tug from Kyle. Once the tug arrived, a combination of pulling and pushing resulted in the stricken ship making it out of the race and into harbour at Kyle. At this point we went paddling.
It was great to see the lifeboats working together, keeping the ship off the rocks. Two volunteer crews working alongside a tug boat to avert disaster. Well done RNLI.