Kyle RNLI in late night callout to people in canoe swept away by strong current

Lifeboats News Release

Kyle of Lochalsh lifeboat launched at 10.25pm on Friday 19th August, to reports of 2 adults and 1 child in difficulty in a canoe which had got caught up in the strong tidal currents in the Kylerhea area

The volunteer crew were paged at 10.19pm at the request of Stornoway Coastguard, after a member of the public reported seeing the people get into a canoe and leave the shore in Glenelg a short while before getting into difficulty.

The lifeboat arrived on scene at 10.35pm, and along with a passing cargo vessel Havgull, began a search of the narrows looking for the casualties, with the lifeboat searching from the north end of the narrows whilst the Havgull searched from the south.  Around 5 minutes later, the crew of the cargo vessel spotted the casualties on a remote part of the shore to the south of the Glenelg ferry pier.  The lifeboat made contact with the 3 people and established that none of them were injured, however due to the rocky shoreline and rapidly dropping tide, could not reach them.  As the casualties were very disorientated and did not know the area, the lifeboat crew decided to drop one of the crew members at the ferry pier to walk the half mile over the hill to reach the stranded people.  Once the crew member reached them, it was established that the initial report was incorrect and the 3 casualties were in fact all adults.  They were then helped back over the hill to the lifeboat at the ferry pier, where the 3 people decided they would walk back along the road to where they were staying.

At 11.45pm the lifeboat returned to Kyle where it was refuelled and made ready for service.

Speaking of the incident, a Kyle RNLI spokesperson said: ‘The current swept them away from the shore but they were extremely lucky and managed to reach the part of the coast where they were found.  They were trying to canoe from Glenelg village back to where they were camping, but due to it getting dark, they became disorientated and paddled into the strong tidal flow at the exit to the narrows, which at times can flow at a speed of 8 knots’.


 Notes to editors:

  • This is the fourth callout for the lifeboat since Tuesday
  • Please credit photo to RNLI


 RNLI media contacts:

Andrew MacDonald, Kyle of Lochalsh RNLI Volunteer Press Officer on 07748 707606 or

 Or Richard Smith, Public Relations Manager Scotland on 01738 642956, 07786 668903 or

Or Henry Weaver, RNLI Press Officer for Scotland, 01738 642946, 07771 943026,

 Or contact RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789

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