Arran RNLI joins large scale search and rescue operation for missing dinghies

Lifeboats News Release

At 3.41am on Sunday 23 May the Arran RNLI Lifeboat crew were paged to join an on-going search for two missing sailing dinghies from Prestwick.

Arran volunteers search for missing dinghies

RNLI/Brian Donlin

Arran volunteers search for missing dinghies

Arran RNLI in-shore lifeboat Rachel Hedderwick launched at 3.50am joining search teams from Troon and Girvan RNLI, Ardrossan and Arran Coastguard Rescue Teams and Rescue 199 Search and Rescue helicopter.

Two sailing dinghies had been reported missing after departing Prestwick on Saturday morning with no further contact being made by the vessels.

The alarm was raised on Saturday evening with the search originating on the Ayrshire coast but quickly escalating to a large-scale sea search involving Arran, Troon and Girvan RNLI Lifeboats and Rescue 199 Search and Rescue helicopter all searching a very large area of sea and coast.

At approximately 5am on Sunday morning the Arran RNLI crew spotted two vessels on the shore at Sandbrae in the village of Whiting Bay. After investigating the vessels and consulting with Belfast and Arran Coastguard Rescue Teams its was established that these were the missing vessels. Once confirmed the search teams were stood down and returned to station.

Arran RNLI helm Martin Wood said, “We were all very relieved when we spotted the dinghies on the shore at Sanbraes which had obviously been stowed overnight. It was a great conclusion to the search. We would like to remind everyone that when they are planning an open water crossing, particularly in a small craft such as sailing dinghies or kayaks, that they should have a contact on shore who is aware of their plans or make the coastguard aware of their passage plans and estimated time of arrival.'

Notes to editors:

  • Photo credit to Brian Donlin Arran RNLI LPO

  • The RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) is the charity that saves lives at sea.

More information about the RNLI station at Arran can be found at

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