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Longhope lifeboat RNLI volunteer crew stand-by to assist small vessel in danger

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteer crew were paged today at 5.51pm and all-weather lifeboat, Helen Comrie, was quickly made ready and requested to standby by the UK Coastguard.

Lifeboat Helen Comrie leaving Longhope

RNLI/Andy Fellows

Lifeboat Helen Comrie leaving Longhope
A helpful member of the public had reported sightings of a small vessel heading towards the Island of Stroma, in the Pentland Firth, with several children onboard. Although conditions were fair, with a moderate sea and good visibility, the strong tides can make these waters extremely perilous, even for experienced sailors. Furthermore, the crew appeared to be without lifejackets and there was serious concern for their safety.

Shortly after a second alert and request to attend, the crew were stood down and the boat returned to Longhope, when it was reported that an experienced local boatman had been able to reach the vessel and safely return those onboard to John O’Groats.

Coxswain, Angus Budge, said: 'We are thankful that this incident passed without harm. We are grateful to the public for alerting us to potentially dangerous situations like this and the RNLI volunteer crew is always ready to respond. When sailing or motorboating, it is essential that you make yourself aware of local hazards and always wear a lifejacket.'

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 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.

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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.