The parents of a baby boy who was born aboard the Oban lifeboat have said that they had planned a water birth in hospital.

Junelle and Stuart Wilson spoke of their shock after their son, Van Harris, was born, weighing 9lb 4oz by a midwife aboard the vessel, with two crew looking on.

The dramatic delivery took place at 5.20am on Monday, five minutes before the boat was due to arrive in Oban Harbour after picking up the expectant mother on the Isle of Mull where they live.

By 5pm that same day, after being checked over at Oban's Lorn and Islands Hospital, he was back home on the isle of Mull - after completing his second boat trip in just over 12 hours.

Mrs Wilson, 26, said: "I was hoping to get in the birthing pool at Oban hospital but we didn't get there, he was born on the water instead.

"The place of birth on his birth certificate will be Lifeboat - Oban Bay."

Although he was the fourth child to be born in the last 12 years aboard the vessel, he was the first boy and has been nicknamed the "lifeboat baby".

Mrs Wilson, who runs The Shielings holiday park at Craignure, on Mull, which only has a cottage hospital, added: "I rang the midwife on Mull about 3am but the contractions were still seven minutes apart. When she got here they were every four or five minutes and she said We had better get you to Oban' and called the lifeboat. But she thought the birth could easily take hours.

"I was sat up in one of the lifeboat chairs, with my gas and air and the contractions were easing off, with the vibrations of the boat.

"I was feeling calm, the contractions were a lot easier - but as soon as the lifeboat hit Oban Bay they dropped the engine and the contractions were really strong.

"I felt my waters break and I said: There is the head' - his head was out, his body was out, I wasn't trying to push, I was just having contractions and when the waters broke he just pushed out. It felt quite natural, it just happened, but it was definitely different."

Lifeboat crewman Donald Matheson helped midwife Moira Westland by handing her towels. Mrs Wilson said: "It was lovely, the sun was just coming up, it was just getting light."

She praised Ms Westland and the crew for the smooth delivery. "We are really grateful to all of them," she added. "The lifeboat took me over to Oban when I was having my other little boy, Jude, but it wasn't as exciting.

"The midwife called the lifeboat, but my contractions were only mild and I was sent from Oban to hospital in Paisley to have him."

Mr Wilson, 26, added: "I didn't have time to think about it, or be scared, it was just all go. I am so proud of Junelle, she did so well."

Van Harris has already experienced the fame caused by his birth when he became the centre of attraction aboard the ferry home.

Mrs Wilson added: "It was 6am when we arrived at Oban hospital and at 4pm we were on the ferry home to Mull, Van had been to Oban and back in a day - in two different kinds of boat."

"He was quite famous on the ferry. All the people were saying Is that the lifeboat baby?'"

"He slept almost all day yesterday and he fed twice during the night. He has already got a few pounds on him.

"The midwife came today and checked up on him and everything was fine."

She said there was just one worrying moment after Van was born and explained: "Van didn't cry when he came out and the ambulance guys at Oban were great, they took him and gave him some oxygen and he was fine."

Mr Wilson is originally from Melbourne, Australia, and the couple met when Junelle, who is originally from Lincoln, was travelling in Australia.

She said: "We met at a party on Christmas Eve and he took me on our first date on New Year's Eve 2006. We went travelling and fruit picking together in Australia."

Mrs Wilson has family living on Mull and the couple decided to make their home there, marrying at Duart Castle last year. They called their new son Van because it's a popular name in Australia and gave him the middle name Harris after the island.

The couple say that with two boys their family is now complete and Stuart joked: "The lifeboat crew can relax!"