Tag Archives: beach

Second Meeting, Still No Decision On Beach Hut

beach hut

Councillors have met for the second time to discuss the retrospective planning application of the Beach hut located in Balevullin and have yet to come to a decision regarding the future of the hut.

You will remember that back in November, Argyll & Bute Councillors and planning representatives held a public meeting on Tiree to discuss the issue, with no decision being made. Following on from the meeting in November, the result was to complete an Area Capacity Evaluation (ACDE) which would hopefully give a more detailed evaluation of the structure and site where it is situated. The result from the most recent meeting, held in Lochgilphead, was that Blackhouse Watersports, the client, should be given more time to study the ACDE report and the decision was put off till the next Planning Protective Service and Licensing Committee.

At the November meeting we learnt that the retrospective planning application for the second hut, located on Gott Bay had been removed and Blackhouse Watersports had agreed to remove the structure, which has since been done.

A harrowing escape

I was clearing out my old emails and I’m embarrassed to admit I have overlooked this
editor’s letter.
I thought you may like to read about the reader’s frightening experience and relief to
have been rescued by local men.

I would be pleased if you could send out a heartfelt thank you to two amazing people, Adam Milne from Beachcomber and Suds from the surf school.

Saturday 9th August 2014, my boys aged 16 and 10, wanted to go wave jumping in Balevullin beach, the waves looked great and the water crystal clear. We picked a spot in the middle of the beach and jumped in and over the waves, within a few minutes I noticed that we had drifted a great deal to the left of the beach and were heading rapidly towards the rocks. My husband on the shore, called for us to swim back up the beach. I took hold of my youngest and propelled him sideward and my husband swam out and helped both boys ashore.

Unfortunately, I was not managing to make any progress and was just swimming with all my energy and getting nowhere. My husband raised the alarm on his way to shore with the boys and Adam Milne tried to rescue me but very soon we were both stuck and being pulled towards the rocks. I was also panicking by this point and my head kept plunging underwater. My husband swam back out to us both with a boogie board and we gratefully grabbed it and all 3 started swimming for shore.

Meanwhile, Suds headed out toward us on a surf board grabbed me on board and headed across the water and out on a wave. I came in to hugs from my boys and my dog. Suds explained that the place I had been pulled to was one of 2 rip currents that appear on the beach at high tide.

I have grown up next to the coast and lived near the sea all my life but was unaware of how to react in a rip current. Rip currents can move up to 8 feet per second, faster than any person can swim! They are caused by a break in the sand bank. I was unaware how to get myself out and was becoming panicked and exhausted. I would be pleased if you could tell my story to raise awareness of how to react in a rip current, and send my thanks to two people who came to help me and saved me from going under.

Thank you! – Allison Leslie

For those that are interested in learning more, here are a couple of links that explain rip currents and how to escape them:

http://www.artofmanliness.com/2010/08/19/how-to-escape-a-riptide/

http://beachsafe.org.au/surf-ed/ripcurrents

The ghost of the Oceana rises again

oceana wreck image

As the ghostly timbers surfaced above the wet sand, memories of the 1949 stranding of a boat in unusual circumstances came back to haunt one of Tiree’s beaches last week.

Sheena and Charlie Berlie, Crossapol, were among the first people to notice the curve of iron ribs made visible by the low tides and force of the waves half way along the beach at the spring low tide mark.

The Oceana, a two masted schooner, was on passage between Ireland and the Baltic in March 1949 when a southerly storm blew the vessel onto Tràigh Bhàigh, now more commonly known as Crossapol Beach (as Crossapol has grown and Baugh shrunk).

Early that morning the local coastguard crew, led by Murdoch Cameron, Balevullin and Alec MacLean, Hough, were called. The boat was grounded over a hundred yards out and the beach party had to fire a rocket to the stricken vessel to allow the bosun’s chair to be used. The crew of around six were winched ashore. One observer remembers their “backsides dipping in the waves”.
The captain came ashore last, with his “cap glued to his head!” according to Archie Brown, Kilkenneth, the only surviving member of the coastguard team. The crew were taken to the Crossapol Hall and seemed to have left the island the next day.

The Oceana, 105 feet long, had been built in 1879 as a private yacht. At her prow she had a striking figurehead of a woman blowing a pipe. Engines were installed in 1923. Reasons for the boat’s grounding were hotly debated at the time. Some people said that the skipper had been confused by the lights on the aerodrome and was making for them. Others were sure the crew were drug smuggling. As the crew were Russian or Latvian, it is unlikely we will ever find out!

To see the remains, go to the centre of the beach at very low tide, park next to the war time huts and then walk 100 yards towards Crossapol.