Local News for Tuesday 26th September 2017

A lifeboat for Carloway?
The people of Carloway are to be asked this evening whether the west side of Lewis needs its own lifeboat, with a public meeting organised by Carloway Community Association. The meeting, at 7pm tonight at Carloway Community Centre, will hear from both the RNLI and the Coastguard service, and invites views on the feasibility of setting up an RNLI station in the area. A spokesman for Carloway Community Association said: “Swimmers, surfers, fishermen, boating fraternity, commercial and leisure interests, or concerned coastal folk, this is also your opportunity to air your views on maritime safety on our west coast waters. Whether you are content with things as they are, or you feel there should be a better lifeboat service, the RNLI and coastguard really do want to hear your views.”

Royal welcome for new nursing students
Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal welcomed the University of the Highlands and Islands' first ever intake of nursing students with a commemorative pen and the announcement that she is to introduce a new nursing award for excellence. Princess Anne toured the Western Isles Hospital, spoke to students and ended her visit by giving an address, announcing a Chancellor's Nursing Award to recognise excellence in the nursing cohort. The pre-registration nurse education programmes for BSc mental health nursing and BSc adult nursing have transferred from the University of Stirling to the University of the Highlands and Islands. Professor Clive Mulholland, principal and vice-chancellor of the University of the Highlands and Islands, said: "It is a considerable achievement to welcome our first cohort of nursing students today, one year after we received approval from the Nursing and Midwifery Council for the transfer to happen. I would like to thank the staff from both universities who worked so hard to make this possible."

Leatherback turtle stranding
A huge leatherback turtle washed up on the beach at Vatersay is causing a stir, with thousands viewing pictures of the unfortunate animal. The carcass was discovered on Vatersay West beach by the Castlebay adventure company Clearwater Paddling, who took pictures and notified marine rescue organisations, although the animal had been dead for some time when it was found. David Yardley, Western Isles co-ordinator of British Divers Marine Life Rescue said: “2011 was the last recorded stranding of a leatherback turtle here in the Hebrides. Unfortunately nothing could be done for this one as it was in an advanced state of decomposition.” Leatherbacks are the largest of all turtles and are usually found in tropical and substropical oceans, although they are known to travel as far north as the Arctic Circle and south to the southernmost tip of New Zealand.

Lottery winners this week
The winners of the latest Western Isles Lifestyle Lottery draw, which took place on Saturday, have been confirmed as Calum Murray from South Dell, who won £180.84, Mackie Macleod from Marybank, who won the second prize of £75.35 and Mrs W from South Galson, who won £45.21. Next week’s draw includes bolt-on prizes and the first distribution of lottery funds to local good causes is also scheduled for next weekend.