RNLI Kessock rescue 2 sailors rescued from water following capsize

Lifeboats News Release

Kessock Lifeboat crew launched this afternoon at 12.30 pm after a small wooden sailing dingy with 2 people on board reported taking on water and then capsizing, throwing the sailors into the water.

RNLI Kessock lifeboat returning to station following rescue of 2 sailors

RNLI/Dan Holland

RNLI Kessock lifeboat returning to station following rescue of 2 sailors

The incident unfolded between Fortrose and Avoch, over an area known locally as Skate Bank. The dingy started taking on water resulting in a capsize. The 2 sailors, who were wearing lifejackets, were thrown away from the vessel into the water during the capsize.

Kessock Lifeboat volunteers launched the Atlantic 85 lifeboat, Robert and Isobel Mowat and made best speed to the scene, arriving 7 minutes later. The waves at the time were about 1.5 metres, while the wind was a north westerly force 4 (20mph).

UK Coastguard Rescue Helicopter 951 and the Inverness Coastguard team were also tasked to make their way to the scene.

Arriving on scene the lifeboat crew found the 2 casualties had managed to get back into the dingy but it swamped with water. Within minutes, both were quickly recovered to the lifeboat and their conditions assessed. They were found to be suffering the effects of hypothermia following their immersion in the water. Reports suggested they may have been in the water for around 35 minutes before the alarm was raised.

Volunteer helmsman Stan MacRae said ‘The dingy started taking on water because of the conditions. The 2 men found they couldn’t bail it out fast enough, which led to the capsize. When we assessed their condition it was obvious they needed further medical attention and the best thing to do was to get them winched into the helicopter and away to hospital as fast as possible.’

By 12.56 pm both sailors were on board UK Coastguard Rescue Helicopter 951 and on their way to Raigmore hospital for treatment.

Meanwhile, the lifeboat crew returned to the scene of the capsize to recover the sailing dingy. They managed to pump it out and then take it under tow back to Fortrose Sailing Club where they were given assistance by members of the sailing club and Inverness Coastguard team to recover it back onto its trailer, by 1.42 pm.

Having got the dingy back ashore to prevent it being a hazard to any other vessels, the lifeboat and crew were stood down from the incident and returned to the lifeboat station in North Kessock.

The RNLI recently launched it’s annual water safety campaign Respect The Water. This year encouraging people to fight their instincts, not the water and FLOAT if they find themselves in the water. By FLOATing, casualties will help prevent the impact of cold water shock which can cause you to gasp uncontrollably and breathe in water, which can quickly lead to drowning. Around 190 people accidentally die at the British and Irish coasts each year, with around half never intending to go into the water in the first place.


Notes to Editors


Click here: https://www.respectthewater.com/ for more information about Respect The Water and FLOAT (FIGHT your instinct. LEAN back in the water. OPEN your body extending your arms and legs pushing your stomach up. ACTIONS gently move your hands and arms to help you float. TIME in 60-90 seconds you’ll be able to control your breathing)

Media Contacts

Dan Holland, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, RNLI Kessock, 07900 567 496 dnjholland@me.com

Richard Smith, RNLI Public Relations Manager for Scotland, 01738 642956, 07786 668903, richard_smith2@rnli.org.uk

Henry Weaver, RNLI Press Officer for Scotland, 01738 642946, 07771 943026, henry_weaver@rnli.org.uk

RNLI 24 hour Press Office, 01202 336789

RNLI Kessock returning under the Kessock Bridge

RNLI/Dan Holland

RNLI Kessock returning under the Kessock Bridge

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.