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Girvan Lifeboat Called To Sunken Vessel

Lifeboats News Release

As the south west of Scotland was basking in sunshine for the second day running and with everyone enjoying the high temperatures, Girvan RNLI’s volunteer crew’s pagers were activated at 6.01pm this evening (Tuesday 10 May).

The crew quickly assembled at the station as it was ascertained the vessel Saltire had hung up on the jetty as the tide was dropping and had turned over onto her side. 

Girvan RNLI's all-weather lifeboat Silvia Burrell was launched soon after with crew on the lifeboat, on the jetty and crew in drysuits in the water, as the shout was only a few hundred yards from the station.

Floating debris and ropes in the immediate vicinity were removed to ensure a safer working environment, and the lifeboat then proceeded to the opposite side of the jetty from the stricken vessel. Two crew members entered the water once again and after assessment a series of ropes were attached to the Saltire and in turn attached to the winch at the front of the lifeboat.

With the vessel being winched up with the help of the lifeboat, crew members set up a further rope across the river onto the rear of Girvan Coastguard Rescue Ttem's 4x4 vehicle, which allowed the lifeboat crew to pull the vessel away from the jetty and up with the Coastguard vehicle whilst being winched upright using the lifeboat.

The Saltire was soon sitting upright once again but still had an ingress of water, so Girvan RNLI lifeboat crew set up a salvage pump and began to pump out the remaining water from the Saltire.

Once it had been pumped free from water further checks were made to the stability and condition of the vessel, where it was moved to another berth further down the jetty so it would not be affected further by the state of tide.

The vessel was secured and the lifeboat was refuelled and made ready for service again at 8pm. 

RNLI media contacts:

For more information please contact Craig Sommerville, Girvan  RNLI Lifeboat Crewmember & Press Officer, on 07411276383, 01465714454 or by email on or Alternatively call Henry Weaver, RNLI Press Officer for Scotland, 01738 642986, 07771 943026, or by email on or Richard Smith, RNLI Public Relations Manager for Scotland, 01738 642956, 07786 668903 or by email on, or the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

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