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Coxswain Mac Leod was concerned that, due to the weather conditions, a passage through the Sound of Barra would be extremely dangerous for the yacht, and was even reluctant to take the lifeboat through.
However he thought the yacht skipper, without any local knowledge, might head for the Sound in an attempt to reach safety.
In the lee of Barra, the wind was blowing from the west force 8 and a two metre swell was running from the same direction.
Heavy showers were restricting visibility to less than 1/2 a nautical mile. As the lifeboat passed up the east side of Barra, losing the shelter of the land, the weather conditions worsened.
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Coxswain Mac Leod ordered all five crewmembers to strap into their seats, an order he did not rescind until the lifeboat was back in the lee of Barra some three hours later.
Even though the tide was slack, each 10 - 11 metre wave broke over the lifeboat.
To prevent this, Coxswain Mac Leod decided to pass through the Sound of Barra to intercept the yacht.
At 8.53am the RNLI severn class lifeboat, Edna Windsor, launched from Castlebay, Barra with five crew on board and Coxswain Mac Leod in command.
When the revised ETA was passed to the yacht's skipper he became increasingly concerned with the extent of the damage to his vessel and the length of time before the lifeboat would reach him.
Therefore Coxswain Mac Leod warned the yacht skipper not to close the Sound of Barra and to keep heading south south east for the southern tip of Barra and the Sound of Sandray.