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Girvan RNLI launched to sinking pleasure boat with five on board

Lifeboats News Release

Five people were plucked from the water as their boat sank last evening (Saturday 6 August).

At 6.48pmGirvan RNLI lifeboat’s volunteer crew's pagers were activated by Belfast Coastguard in response to a 999 call to a 16ft vessel with five persons on board that had lost propulsion and was taking on water near Ailsa Craig in worsening sea conditions.

This was the first shout for Girvan RNLI's relief all-weather lifeboat Pride and Spirit and within seven minutes the lifeboat and volunteer crew were making best speed towards the last reported position near the iconic volcanic plug Ailsa Craig, which lies some 10.2 miles from Girvan in the Firth Of Clyde.

Also tasked to the incident were Campbeltown RNLI lifeboat and Coastguard Rescue Helicopter 999.

The  helicopter arrived moments prior to Girvan lifeboat just as the vessel sank and as the lifeboat came upon the scene the final casualty was winched from the water.

The casualties were checked over by on board paramedics on the way back to Girvan and despite being wet and cold they appeared healthy and in good spirits, and did not require further medical attention.

Girvan RNLI all-weather lifeboat remained on scene to retrieve the floating debris from the sunken boat before making its way back to Girvan, whilst Campbletown were stood down.

The Coastguard helicopter landed at McCreath Park where it was met by Girvan Coastguard Rescue Team and Police Scotland, the casualties were then taken to the Coastguard station before returning home.

Girvan Lifeboat arrived back in Girvan at 8.15pm, where it was refuelled and made ready for service.

Girvan RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager John Gourlay said: 'Although the vessel was lost, five lives were saved in this instance and another few minutes and it could have been a very different outcome.'

More information about sea safety can be located at the RNLI’S ‪#‎Respectthewater‬ website

Media contacts:

For more information please contact Girvan RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer Craig Sommerville on 07411 276383 or 01465 712197.

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