A surprise lay in wait for the Barra RNLI crew when called out to assist a yacht

A rescue crew called out to assist a yachtsman who had lost his bearings off the Western Isles got a surprise when they discovered a coffin strapped to the deck.

RNLI volunteers from Barra were assured by the skipper, an American en route to Norway, that the unusual cargo was empty, but as Angus MacNeil, Mechanic of Barra RNLI lifeboat commented: ‘Seeing a coffin aboard a boat is not your normal everyday occurrence.’

Skipper Jeffrey Kane, from Florida, said: ‘The coffin is bound for a bar in Oslo. I ended up near Barra as poor weather forced me to choose between heading south or west, which I wasn’t going to do. I wasn’t sure of where was best to head for and so contacted the Coastguard for assistance. The Barra RNLI lifeboat crew are great, incredible, real good people who towed me to the nearest harbour. I am in Barra for another day and will head off tomorrow.

Photo: Barra RNLI crew