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An historical three shouts in a day for RNLI Loch Ness

Lifeboats News Release

Lifeboat volunteers assist yacht and then motor cruiser before being called to a third incident.


First casualty of the day, yacht at Glen Moriston
Shortly before 11.00 am on Wednesday the coastguard received a request for assistance from an 8.3 metre yacht which had run aground near Glen Moriston. The RNLI lifeboat crew of Howie Whyte at Helm, Linda Izquierdo Ross and Joel Keating answered the call and made their way to the casualty vessel. En route, they were advised that the yacht had managed to re-float itself, but there were concerns that it was taking in water and the Coastguard advised the lifeboat to carry on to make sure the vessel was safe.
Due to the choppy weather and concerns about the condition of the yacht the lifeboat crew considered the safest course of action was to escort the casualty to the safety of Fort Augustus. Out on Loch Ness a south westerly wind gusting 4 to 5 knots hampered progress and in addition the lifeboat crew had to take great care to keep a visual in the choppy conditions of a swimmer heading for Fort Augustus with her kayak support.
Once the lifeboat crew had handed over the casualty yacht to the Coastguard at Fort Augustus, they were then tasked to return to Temple Pier where a motor cruiser awaited assistance. The couple with the motor cruiser had tied up at Temple Pier earlier with a rope caught in their propeller. The lifeboat returned at 2.08 pm and took the motor cruiser in an alongside tow into Urquhart Bay Harbour, where they handed over to the Coastguard.
At 2.45 pm the lifeboat was back at base, refuelled and ready for service.
This was a long first shout for new Loch Ness RNLI crew member Joel Keating who was happy that all had gone well.

A little time later, the lifeboat was requested once more to assist an Austrian yacht whose engine had cut out shortly after leaving Urquhart Bay Harbour. Lifeboat crew Howie Whyte and Linda Izquierdo Ross who had attended the previous two shouts were still at the Lifeboat station and were soon joined by fellow volunteer and another recent recruit David Ferguson. The lifeboat relaunched and proceeded to the casualty, which was not far past Urquhart Castle in open water. Crew member Linda who has sailing experience went aboard to assist the Austrian couple in coming back around by sail to Strone Point where it was possible for the lifeboat to rig an alongside tow and take the yacht back to Urquhart Bay Harbour.

A memorable day for the volunteers at Loch Ness boathouse in a year that is shaping up to be their busiest yet.

The previous day saw the lifeboat volunteers answering a mayday call from three individuals in a motor cruiser who had also experienced problems with their propeller and run aground south of Urquhart Castle. Yesterdays crew of Howie Whyte (Helm), Joanna Stebbings and Craig Turner took the vessel under tow and returned it safely to Urquhart Bay Harbour.


Swimmer heading for Fort Augustus seen during first shout of the day


Lifeboat approaching motor cruiser at Temple Pier, 2nd shout of the day

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