View as PDF

Teenagers in night cliff rescue drama

Lifeboats News Release

The Invergordon RNLI lifeboat “Douglas Aikman Smith” launched this evening to a report of 2 young females stranded on a cliff cut off by the tide, whilst out walking.

The Volunteer crew launched the All-weather Trent Class Lifeboat at 9.05pm with a crew of 7 to undertake a search for females reported somewhere on the cliffs by the village of Balintore.

Aberdeen Coastguard also requested the launch of Coastguard Helicopter ‘Rescue 951’ and local coastguard units along to assist Police Scotland with the search.

The Lifeboat made best speed up the moonlight Cromarty Firth and began the search just north of the Nigg Jetty along the rocky shoreline towards the Three Kings area.

During radio conversations with Aberdeen Coastguard it was requested that if casualties had a mobile phone to enable the torch function to aid with the search, which could be easily picked out from the darkness of the cliffs.

As the search continued the crew quickly identified a bright light approximately 50mtrs up the cliff face, and directed Rescue 951 to the location where the 2 friends were winched to the safety of the Helicopter.

With the casualties now safely on-board the Helicopter, the Volunteer Crew made their way back to the Lifeboat Berth in Invergordon’s West Harbour.

Early reports indicate that both females believed to be in mid teens had embarked on a walk to locate ‘The Well of Good Health’  locally known as ‘The Wellie” had no medical issues and were landed in Balintore to local coastguard teams.

Invergordon Lifeboat spokesperson Michael MacDonald stated “In the light of this evening’s call-out, it was a swift and well executed rescue by illuminating their location by using mobile phone lights to attract rescue crew.

The Lifeboat was refuelled and made ready for service by 10.40pm.

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland