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Mowi helps bring life-saving technology to Harris villages

Residents of Rhenigidale and Maraig received emergency life support training at the Scaladale Centre, Harris.
Residents of Rhenigidale and Maraig received emergency life support training at the Scaladale Centre, Harris.

Salmon farmer Mowi has been thanked by the communities of Maraig and Rhenigidale on the Isle of Harris for a donation to fund a potentially life-saving automated external defibrillator (AED) in each of the villages.


The Maraig and Rhenigidale Defibrillator Group said support from Mowi and AED charity Lucky2BHere had allowed it to site one of the machines at Marine Harvest pier in Eilean Anabuich, Maraig and one at Burnside in Rhenigidale.

Lucky2BHere provided training in use of the AEDs which was attended by both the local community and Mowi staff.

More confident in emergency

In a letter to Mowi, the Group said: “All present felt the training was a positive experience and we all feel more confident to assist if emergency occurs.

“Your contribution and the support of Lucky2BHere has made it possible for us to have early access to this life-saving equipment.”

Mowi has previously had defibrillators installed at five areas where it operates – Ullapool, Craobh Haven, Kyleakin, Glenfinnan, and Isle of Muck – and has one committed for North Uist.

Ross Cowie: Saved by a passing ambulance crew.
Ross Cowie: Saved by a passing ambulance crew.

Genetic heart condition

Lucky2BHere, which operates across Scotland, was established by Ross Cowie, who suffers from a genetic heart condition known as dilated cardiomyopathy. His father died on the badminton court at the age of 40, his auntie died at the age of 18 and his uncle (who played football for Scotland) also died at an early age.

In December 2006 Cowie suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. His life was saved due to the luck that an ambulance happened to be passing by and the skills of the crew and the life-saving equipment that they carried.

He subsequently established Lucky2BHere in the hope that it might give others the same chance.

Electrical therapy

AEDs are portable electronic devices that automatically diagnose life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias and are able to treat through defibrillation - the application of electrical therapy which prevents the arrhythmia and allows the heart to re-establish an effective rhythm.

When Lucky2BHere’s Eilean Siar team started three years ago, there were seven AEDs in the Western Isles – now there are 123.

There is now a defibrillator in every school in the Western Isles, supplied by Lucky2BHere. The defibrillators are located outside the school, so they can be used during term time and at the same time be available to the community outwith school hours. All are accessible 24/7 for any sudden need.

In June last year the lives of three people who suffered cardiac arrests within the space of five days across the Highlands & Islands were saved thanks in part to public access defibrillators and training provided by Lucky2BHere. 

A mobile phone app is now available to allow people to quickly locate the nearest AED. For more information visit the Lucky2BHere website here.