Aberdeen Lifeboat in Yuletide yacht rescue
It was a case of putting the mince pies on hold and suspending Christmas shopping when Aberdeen Lifeboat's volunteer crew were called out to help a yacht in distress today, Monday 23 December.
"We never know when the pagers will go, nor what the emergency will be," says Aberdeen Lifeboat coxswain Davie Orr. "In this case the shout was relatively straightforward for us, but I can imagine it was less pleasant for the yacht crew. Losing ability to make way 20 miles from a busy port and with darkness approaching is not a good place to be two days before Christmas!"
Aberdeen's all-weather lifeboat Bon Accord, with a volunteer crew of six, launched at 2.30pm and made best speed to the casualty vessel arriving on scene around 3.30pm. The yacht was taken in tow and successfully brought alongside in Aberdeen around 8.00pm.
"We have no way of knowing whether our crew will be called out again this Christmas or New Year," says coxswain Davie Orr. "The promise we do make to our community, to people at sea and along the coast - and to the people who donate to fund our lifesaving work - is that, if the pagers do go off during the Festive Season, our crew will drop whatever they are doing to respond."
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.