Down Memory Lane, April 19 2019

The Tynsider is battered and two crewmen can be seen in the sea. 25_c16rnlicert02_Jim_McPhee

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The Courier’s From Our Files feature on March 5 caught the eye of a former Campbeltown lifeboat coxswain.

It told the dramatic story of the rescue of six crewmen, from tugboat the Tynesider, after lifeboats, from Campbeltown and Tighnabruaich, were scrambled at 3am together with an air sea rescue helicopter from Prestwick.

Jim McPhee, of Kintyre Hire, who was a lifeboat man for more than a quarter of a century, has an archive from his many years’ service and a photograph from the night.

The photograph which was not published in 1996 shows the stricken tugboat Tynesider, aground, two miles south east of Tarbert 25 years ago.

The Tynesider, on charter from Tyne and Wear Tugs, sister company to Glenlight Shipping, was on route from Troon to Ardcastle near Lochgair.

She was due to uplift a barge of logs bound for Ardrossan, when she grounded on Skate Island in Lower Loch Fyne.

The tug boat the Flying Childers was brought in from Greenock to assist with the rescue operation. Three attempts were made to remove the Tynesider from the island, however heavy weather pushed her further onto the rocks.

Divers with portable pumps were drafted in to keep the water level down and successfully pumped out the accommodation level and down to the engine room.

On Tuesday April 5 1994 the anti-pollution tug, the Flying Phantom arrived from Greenock to assist the fourth attempt to pull the Tynesider off the rocks.

At 8.20am, the Tynesider, listing on her side, was successfully pulled from the rock. But within a short space of time she went down by the stern.

At the time a spokesman for Glenlight said: ‘Divers examined underneath the tug but could find no sign of damage.

‘There is no pollution at the moment and it is now in the hands of insurers.’

The six crew were rescued by the Campbeltown lifeboat and taken to Tarbert.

In a complication, while the rescued men were being collected by an ambulance, a member of the lifeboat crew felt ill and he was taken to hospital, where it turned out he had suffered a heart attack.

Mr McPhee’s Coxswain’s Certificate of Service, presented on January 20 1999, records that during his lifeboat service at sea 151 lives were saved.

The Tynsider is battered and two crewmen can be seen in the sea. 25_c16rnlicert02_Jim_McPhee