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Kirkwall's first shout of the year is a 17-hour challenge in rough seas

Lifeboats News Release

Kirkwall lifeboat was called out on Thursday 2 March to assist a Fraserburgh registered fishing boat Sunrise with six persons on board.

The lifeboat departed station at 8.00am with Coxswain Fraser Retson and six more volunteer crew aboard. The lifeboat headed out into a strong westerly wind but made good speed on route to the vessel Sunrise which was about 40 miles to the east of Orkney. Sunrise had a fouled propeller and was unable to make power. No other vessels were in the area.

Kirkwall lifeboat Margaret Foster (17/13) arrived on scene at the casualty at 9.55am and the tow line was connected. The tow was commenced at 10.10am and a long slow tow back to safety in port was commenced. Winds were from the west at 30 to 35 knots with gusts over 40 knots which resulted in a difficult and uncomfortable head punch all the way back.

Longhope lifeboat arrived on scene at 3.40pm to assist and escorted 17/13 until she was closer to the shelter of land.

At 8.40pm when some shelter was given by land the tow was shortened in and at 8.55pm Longhope lifeboat was released to return to her station.

At 0.50am on Friday 3 March the casualty Sunrise was secured alongside the north face of Kirkwall pier and 17/13 returned to station where she was refuelled, ready for service again at 1.05am.

After 17 hours on service the crew went home for a well earned rest.

This is the first call out for Kirkwall RNLI Lifeboat this year.

For further information please contact –

Graeme Smith

Lifeboat Press Officer

Tel. 01856 871207

Mob. 0783 007 1968

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