RNLI Invergordon’s Golf Day turns into Mayday

Lifeboats News Release

Saturday 11th June saw the Annual RNLI Invergordon Texas Scramble take place at Invergordon Golf Club when the crew pagers were activated by Aberdeen Coastguard to a Mayday call.

The Volunteer Crew of Invergordon Lifeboat and the members of the Easter Ross Fundraising Branch were busy ensuring the popular annual event took place smoothly and with a steady stream of the 120 golfers arriving for their tee off times, the crew pagers were sounded by Aberdeen Coastguard.

The duty volunteer crew of 7 made their way to Lifeboat Station where they launched the All-weather Trent class Lifeboat ‘Douglas Aikman Smith’ to a report of a Mayday call from a small fishing vessel in the Cromarty Firth.

The Mayday was put out by the lone fisherman on-board the small fishing vessel after they appeared to hit an object in the water and feared the hull was damaged and taking on water.

Making best speed to the casualty vessel’s location which was reported to be roughly 1 mile east of Cromarty Harbour the 23-foot fishing boat from Cromarty was being secured alongside the newly instated Cromarty Ferry ‘Renfrew Rose’ and Rescue Helicopter 951 monitoring overhead until the Lifeboat crew arrived on scene.

The crew quickly had the boat’s Salvage Pump setup and transferred to begin to pump any water ingress. With no major signs of ingress, the vessel was secured alongside the Lifeboat and a towed to the safety of Invergordon’s West Harbour.

With the tide almost at low water, it was decided to use this opportunity to put the boat into the shallow water outside the Lifeboat Station where the hull could be checked. With no impacting signs, it was agreed to remove the boat from the water at high water at the nearby Invergordon Sailing Club Slipway

With a few hours until the tide turned, and the vessel secured, some of the crew made their way back to the Golf competition to help out with the ongoing events.

30 Teams of 4 Golfers per team, 2 BBQ’s, a Raffle saw the day make an amazing £3300 for the RNLI despite the lack of sunshine.

With the tide turning, the Lifeboat escorted the fishing vessel to the Slipway where it was loaded on to a trailer for further examination.

The Lifeboat was back alongside the berth and refuelled and ready for service by 5:30pm                                                                                             

With all that, the crew then returned to the Golf Club to help with the close of the competition and announce the winners of the RNLI Annual Golf Day 2016.

With various prizes up for grabs such as longest drive, closest to the pin and 1st 2nd & 3rd places, the winners were as follows,

Longest Drive :- D Affin         

Closest to the Pin :- Calum Chisholm

Best Dressed:- Zebra Boy

In 3rd place with a score of 57.7 was Ally Melville’s Team

In 2nd place with a score of 54.1 was Shaun Doull’s Team

With a winning score of 51, was Invergordon Lifeboat’s very own crew member Dave Cargill’s team which was met by a few chants by the room, but all in the name of fun for a very important cause.

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.