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Largs RNLI lifeboat attends an inflatable dinghy with two children adrift.

Lifeboats News Release

Lifeboat volunteer crew take children to safety

Largs Lifeboat

RNLI/Alasdair Woods

On Friday 29th. of June at 5.50pm. Largs lifeboat volunteer crew responded to a request from UK Coastguard to attend a paddle board with 2 children on it floating in the sea off Portencross Beach.
While on passage to the incident the RNLI lifeboat crew learned that a member of the public had swam out from the shore and assisted the the paddle board and the children ashore, with this news the lifeboat returned to station, by 6.45 she was washed down, re-fuelled and ready for her next service which was to be in a very short time.
At 7.33pm. on the same day the volunteers launched again, this time it was to reports of a dinghy drifting offshore once more off Portencross Beach, whilst proceeding to the scene Coastguards contacted the lifeboat with an urgent message to attend an inflatable dinghy struggling to get back to shore with 2 children in it 400 meters off Largs Sailing Club.
Fortunately, as the lifeboat was on its way to Portencross it was passing not far from where the children were, within seconds the volunteer crew had the children transferred to the lifeboat and returned safely to their much relived parents on the Sailing Club Slipway.
The lifeboat continued on to Portencross and the drifting dinghy, when only a mile away from the scene Coastguards alerted the lifeboat to the fact that the drifting dinghy was in fact an inflatable Unicorn Ring which had been recovered by a passing yacht, as no one was in any danger the lifeboat was stood down.
On their way back to the station the lifeboat crew called in at the Sailing Club to ensure the children recovered earlier were none the worse of their ordeal
While they were there they noticed a trailer with a small motor boat mounted upon it bogged down in the sand.
After speaking with the parents of the children it became clear that the it was theirs and as they endeavoured to launch it the trailer became bogged down.
As it was low water, meaning as the tide began to rise there would be a danger of the boat drifting off the trailer and out to sea.
2 Volunteer lifeboat crew members went ashore and assisted the owners in recovering the entire rig back to the shore, on completion, the 2 crew members returned to the lifeboat and back to the station to be made ready for the next service.
This last call for Largs RNLI Lifeboat Volunteers was for this year No.21 to the end of June 20018, at the same time last year the No. was 16.
The main purpose of the RNLI is the saving of lives at sea and offering advice on related safety matters.
While we do wish families to enjoy the water and not wishing to put a damper on their enjoyment we must point out the danger of using toy inflatable flotation devices' on open waters, the use of such toys should be restricted to enclosed pond use and even then with adult supervision.

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 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