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Girvan RNLI lifeboat crew respond to Mayday distress call

Lifeboats News Release

At 9.30pm on Tuesday 6 September Girvan RNLI lifeboat volunteer crew's pagers were activated by Belfast Coastguard following a Mayday to Belfast Coastguard.

On arrival at the lifeboat station the crew were still receiving updates from Belfast Coastguard as to the call which ahd been sent out via VHF radio.

Within minutes the crew were kitted up, running along the jetty with the relief all weather lifeboat, Pride and Spirit, soon leaving her berth.

A full search commenced of the harbour area and towards the pier end and back again, as further updates were received from Belfast Coastguard and the lifeboat carried out a search parallel with the shoreline north past Maidens towards Culzean.

The lifeboat scanned the coastline and area utilising the onboard search lights and illuminating rocket flares. Once that stage of the search had been completed the lifeboat then commenced a search further offshore heading back towards Girvan.

A further search was completed south of the harbour, with RNLI colleagues at Troon Lifeboat launching approximately one hour after Girvan as updates came via the radio that a triangulation of the single mayday placed the distress call further up the coastline.

Girvan Coastguard Rescue Team conducted shoreline searches around Girvan, whilst further north Ardrossan Coastguard Rescue Team conducted shoreline searches to compliment Troon RNLI lifeboat's ongoing search.

After nearly three hours at sea with our search completed with nothing untoward found and HM coastguard continuing their investigations as to the calls origin, Girvan RNLI lifeboat stood down and returned to station where it was washed, refuelled and made ready for service at 12.30am.

On completion of the search, all resources were stood down and returned to station with Belfast Coastguard Operations Centre treating the this as a hoax radio call with malicious intent.

RNLI media contacts

Craig Sommerville, Girvan Lifeboat Press Officer, 01465 714454,

Henry Weaver, RNLI Press Officer for Scotland, 01738 642986, 07771 943026,

Richard Smith, RNLI Public Relations Manager for Scotland, 01738 642956, 07786 668903,

RNLI Press Office, 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