Local News for Monday 12th March 2018

Urgent appeal from Coastguard
Coastguard teams across the West of Scotland issued an urgent appeal for information this morning after a vessel called Hanson 2 sent a mayday call just before 1am this morning. The spelling of the vessel name was unclear, but the message came from an area between Ullapool and Tobermory. Mallaig and Tobermory RNLI Lifeboats searched the area thoroughly for six hours with nothing found. A number of relay broadcasts to vessels in the area were also made with nothing seen or heard. No other distress alerts had been received. If you have any information on this vessel please call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

Commonwealth flag raised
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar today formally raised the Commonwealth flag outside the Comhairle offices on Sandwick Road, to celebrate Commonwealth Day. Cllr Alasdair Macleod, vice-chairman of the policy and resources committee, raised the flag and said: "I am pleased to learn that so many people throughout the Commonwealth will be taking part in the 'Fly a Flag for the Commonwealth' initiative this year and am delighted that the Comhairle once again participated in Commonwealth Day and all that the Commonwealth represents." Fly a Flag for the Commonwealth allows people to show appreciation for the values the Commonwealth upholds, and the opportunities offered for friendship and cooperation with fellow Commonwealth citizens around the world.

Lionacleit pipers hit right note
School Pipe Bands from the Western Isles were at Inveralmond School in West Lothian at the weekend for the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships. Travelling across were bands including the Lewis and Harris Youth Pipe Band and the Sgoil Lionacleit band, who were placed third in the category for freestyle musicianship.

Leverburgh clean-up
The village of Leverburgh is planning a massive clean-up ahead of the arrival of their new Shannon class RNLI lifeboat in April. A skip is being brought to the pier so that everyone can join in getting the gardens, streets and harbour cleaned up ahead of the summer season and before the shiny new lifeboat arrives. People are being invited to clean rubbish out of ditches, verges and gardens and to use the skip between 10am and 4pm on Saturday 14th April. A spokesman for RNLI Leverburgh said: “This is a great chance to clear all the rubbish that's been blown about by the winter gales - and to spruce the place up in time for the Shannon's arrival the following weekend!”

Stornoway athletes on the track
Young athletes from Lewis were in Glasgow at the weekend with Stornoway Running and Athletics Club, this time at the Under 20 and Under 15 Scottish Indoor Championships at the Emirates arena. A squad of six joined 850 athletes from all over Scotland – some from South Uist and Eriskay – for over two days of action. There were personal bests for several of our competitors. Full results come from the SRAC website.

Shinty season off to a start
Lewis Camanachd got the start they wanted to the season, but unfortunately not the result they hoped for, when they travelled away to meet Lochcarron on Saturday and were beaten 3-nil. Next week sees them away to Boleskine.