Aberdeen Lifeboat launches to reports of kite surfer in distress
Aberdeen Lifeboat was paged at 1.10pm today, Friday 12 October, when a member of the public was concerned they saw a kite surfer in difficulty around a mile offshore and – quite correctly – dialled 999 for the Coastguard.
The volunteer crew took the all-weather lifeboat ‘Bon Accord’ to sea in 30 knot winds and 4 metre waves. Making their way to the casualty’s reported position, they could find only the fairway buoy which marks the line of approach to Aberdeen Harbour. The crew were stood down and returned to Station shortly after 2.00pm
Coxswain Davie Orr says “At that distance, it would have been hard for the caller to distinguish the buoy from a person in the water: they did absolutely the right thing phoning the Coastguard.”
Ironically, the call came as local MP, Kirsty Blackman, was visiting the lifeboat station. Just as she was being briefed on what happens when there’s a ‘shout’, Ms Blackman found herself surrounded by volunteers arriving, donning ‘yellows’, briefing and heading down to the boat for real.
Ms Blackman said: “It was so interesting to visit the RNLI Lifeboat station in Aberdeen today. I was lucky to see the crew go on a shout - and thankfully nobody was actually in danger and requiring assistance.
“What a fab group of volunteers and staff who are so dedicated to keeping folk safe. I’m so grateful for the work they do and for the opportunity to visit today to learn more.”
Kirsty Blackman stayed on the quayside to wait for the crew’s return – at which point we snapped this photograph of her with coxswain Davie Orr (centre) and some of the crew who responded to today’s call.
The shout – Aberdeen Lifeboat’s thirty-first of 2018 – will be recorded as a false alarm with good intent.
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, in a normal year, 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.