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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 October 2005, 09:40 GMT 10:40 UK
Baby born on board Oban lifeboat
Rachel Holliday, Glenn Cato and family
The proud family after arriving on the mainland
A couple have thanked the crew of the lifeboat on which their daughter was born during a crossing from the island of Mull to the Scottish mainland.

The Oban RNLI lifeboat Mora Edith MacDonald was called to take Rachel Holliday to Oban on Wednesday night.

The baby was delivered by a midwife, with crew members assisting, on the return crossing.

The proud father, Glenn Cato, said everyone involved had helped to put their minds at ease.

The baby is the third to have been born on the Oban lifeboat in eight years.

Coxswain Ronnie MacKillop told BBC Scotland's news website that he and the crew had been called out by the Coastguard and asked to take a pregnant woman to hospital in Oban.

We were able to enjoy the birth of our baby instead of worrying about the fact that she was being born on a lifeboat
Glenn Cato

They collected a local midwife and an off-duty paramedic and made the crossing to Mull.

Mr Cato and Ms Holliday are originally from the north east of England but have lived on Mull for five years. The baby is their second daughter.

They left Craignure, on Mull, at 0130 BST but about three-quarters of the way back, there was a shout from below decks for Mr MacKillop to slow down.

Moments later, there was another call to speed up again, then another to slow down again and finally, there was a request to stop.

'Extra crew member'

Then came a call that there was another crew member on board the boat, which then picked up speed and headed for Oban, where it arrived about 15 minutes later.

Mr MacKillop recalled: "Things were pretty emotional on the lifeboat - with fully grown lifeboat men close to tears.

"We're absolutely delighted. Two weeks ago we were pulling people out of the water and it was a real life-or-death situation.

Rachel Holliday, baby and lifeboat man
The lifeboat crew helped the midwife during the birth

"A couple of weeks later it's lovely to be doing this."

Mr Cato said: "Rachel and myself could not be happier with our baby girl.

"We have not yet decided on a name yet but all that matters at the moment is that our beautiful baby girl and Rachel herself are doing well.

"I would like to thank all the people involved last night, in particular the midwife and lifeboat crew. They were great.

"All seemed to know exactly what to do and when, which completely put our minds at ease which meant we were able to enjoy the birth of our baby instead of worrying about the fact that she was being born on a lifeboat."

Previous births

Thursday's arrival was the third on the Mora Edith in eight years and made it a hat-trick for station mechanic Jim Watson, who has been involved in all three births. For crew member Jim Wilson, it was the second time.

The two previous babies born on board were girls as well.

Oban lifeboat spokesman Pat Maclean was asked if he thought the new arrival might be named after the Mora Edith.

He said: "That would be up to the parents, we don't know yet."


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