Sunday, September 22, 2019
The skye times mobile

Portree is “the biggest man-power hole” when it comes to volunteers for HM Coastguard in Skye and Lochalsh.

Area commander, Murdo Macaulay, told Skye Times Online: “We have four coastguard stations in Skye and Lochalsh and Portree is currently our shortest staffed station”

Other coastguard stations in the area include Dunvegan, Duntulm and Kyle.

“Portree in particular is in a good strategic position to offer support to Dunvegan in the west and north to Duntulm,” said Murdo.

“Very often, we need to call out every team on Skye to get enough man-power to fulfil our tasks or provide Rescue back up to other teams or partner services”

“We have to have the ability to respond quickly and if we are casting all the teams together, we can't always achieve this.”

Murdo said the Coastguard are looking for between six to eight Portree-based volunteers.

“The Coastguard Rescue Service has quite a wide role,” explained Murdo.

“Often, the public view us as siting in boats or a helicopter.

“However, we provide a land-based search and rescue resource.”

This means teams are trained for coastal search, inland lost and missing person searches under police control and technical rescue for working at a height or on the water. They also provide mutual support to the other emergency services.

“The work shouldn't put people off, as we aren't after superhumans,” Murdo stated. “We are looking for medically-fit people over 18 with a driving license. For their first year, we would be looking for 70 hours standard training and a reasonably good availability to respond to incidents.

“Payment-wise, they would be volunteers, but are paid an expenses allowance per hour. They are also paid for mileage if they use their own vehicles. They don't make money, but the idea is that they are not out-of-pocket.”
For more information on volunteering, get in touch with Senior Coastal Ops Officer David Smith by e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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