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Troon lifeboats launch after concern for overdue sailing dinghies

Lifeboats News Release

Following on from a very successful and busy Open Day, at 12.39am on Sunday 23 July 2017 Belfast Coastguard requested to the launch of the all-weather and inshore lifeboats to assist in the search for 2 overdue sailing dinghies.

A member of the public had notified the Coastguard that he had seen 2 sailing dinghies launch from Prestwick on Saturday morning but he had not seen them return and their vehicles were still parked nearby.

The volunteer crew attended at the lifeboat station and soon launched all-weather lifeboat RNLB Jim Moffat and D class inshore lifeboat Telford Shopping Centre to assist in the search initially conducting a search south towards Prestwick.

Also involved in the search were Ayr, Ardrossan, Girvan and Arran Coastguard Rescue Teams as well as Girvan and Arran lifeboats. Officers from Ayrshire Division of Police Scotland were also making enquiries.

With little information known about the destination of the sailing dinghies, the search area covered a large area so the lifeboat crews were using all available on board search equipment including searchlight, night sights and white illuminating parachute flares to assist in their search.

As more information came to light, a further search area was established by Belfast Coastguard with the all-weather boat covering a search from Prestwick towards Arran.

At first light, Coastguard helicopter Rescue 199 from Prestwick was tasked to assist in the search.

About 5am, information came through from the search teams that 2 sailing dinghies had been located on Arran that matched the description of those missing and further enquiries were undertaken by Coastguard and Police on the island. It was soon established that all persons were safe and well ashore in Arran and at no time needed any assistance.

Satisfied that this call was a false alarm with good intent, the lifeboats and all other search teams were stood down by Belfast Coastguard with the crew returning to station shortly after 6am.

Both lifeboats were then refuelled and made ‘ready for service’ with the assistance of the shore crew before the crew went home some well-earned sleep.

RNLI Media Contacts: Andrew Limond, volunteer lifeboat press officer at Troon, 01292 314414

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

Or Henry Weaver, RNLI Press Officer for Scotland, 01738 642946, 07771 943026,

Or contact RNLI Public Relations 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