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RNLI Kessock rescue canoeist struggling against tide

Lifeboats News Release

Kessock Lifeboat volunteers were paged to launch this afternoon (Sunday 24 April) to assist a canoeist at the mouth of the River Ness.

The alarm was raised at 5.26pm when the lone paddler was seen by a passing vessel who contacted the UK Coastguard.

Launching the Atlantic 85 lifeboat, Robert and Isobel Mowat just a few minutes later the volunteer crew made the very short journey from the RNLI lifeboat station in North Kessock to the canoeist who was struggling to make any way against the tide and starting to become exhausted.

Weather conditions were good at the time and the tide was falling. 

When the lifeboat crew, under the command of volunteer Helmsman Stan MacRae, arrived with the paddler they quickly established that apart from fatigue the man was in good health and wearing a lifejacket.

He was taken aboard the lifeboat, the Canadian canoe taken under tow and both were taken to the slipway at South Kessock where they were met by the Inverness Coastguard Team.

The RNLI voluneteers then made their way back to the lifeboat station and recovered the lifeboat to make it ready for the next service call.

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.

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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