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Macduff RNLI volunteers launch in response to Mayday call

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteer crew from Macduff lifeboat launched this morning at the request of HM Coastguard in Aberdeen after it had received a Mayday call from a marine radio.

RNLI crewmembers in inshore lifeboat Lydia Macdonald

RNLI/Mike Rawlins

RNLI Macduff crew searching the coastline
The faint call 'Mayday mayday mayday Macduff Harbour' was picked up by on channel 16 by the Aberdeen Coastguard station and other vessels in the area. The Coastguard were not able to make contact with the person making the distress call or gain any further information.

Macduff lifeboat crew were paged and launched at 10:49 and proceeded to perform an inshore search of the coastline from Whitehills to Old Haven. After finding nothing of interest close inshore, the search area was extended out to sea. As part of the extended search, the crew drew lifeboat Lydia Macdonald alongside any vessels in the vicinity to check that they were not in trouble and had not made the Mayday call.

Macduff RNLI Coxswain, Chassey Findlay, who led today's search operation said: 'the mayday call was picked up by the Coastguard control room in Aberdeen and by some vessels locally. We completed an extensive search covering some 12 square miles and found nothing. We spoke to all the boats within the search area, and they had not seen anything that would cause them to be concerned.'

Chassey continued: 'We are obviously concerned that someone may have been in danger, made the mayday call and then managed to get themselves out of trouble. If this is the case, I urge them to contact the Coastguard so we know they are safe and well and can bring this incident to a conclusion.'

Crew member Steven Priest added: 'The conditions for performing a search were perfect this morning, excellent visibility, a gentle breeze and virtually no sea swell. We carried out a detailed search but were not able to find any evidence of a person or vessel in trouble.'

Macduff lifeboat was stood down from the search by Aberdeen Coastguard at 12:40, the lifeboat was washed, refuelled and returned to service at 1:30pm

Notes for editors

• RNLI Macduff lifeboat Lydia Macdonald is a B class Atlantic 85 which carries 4 crew.
• Lydia Macdonald is unique within the RNLI being the only lifeboat that is launched from a mobile crane. This method of launch allows the lifeboat to be launched from other locations should the need arise.

RNLI media contacts:

Mike Rawlins, Macduff RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07720 288366

Or Richard Smith, Public Relations Manager 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.

RNLI crew members on inshore lifeboat Lydia Macdonald, one using binoculars

RNLI/Mike Rawlins

Searching the coast
Macduff inshore lifeboat Lydia Macdonald being recovered after the search operation

RNLI/Mike Rawlins


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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