An historical three shouts in a day for RNLI Loch Ness
Lifeboat volunteers assist yacht and then motor cruiser before being called to a third incident.
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.
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 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.