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Aberdeen Inshore Lifeboat in multi-agency operation to assist 5 young rowers

Lifeboats News Release

Aberdeen’s inshore lifeboat launched at 3pm this afternoon, Saturday 9 February, responding to a request from HM Coastguard following reports from a ship moored in the harbour of a group of rowers in difficulty in the River Dee channel, downstream of Victoria Bridge.

The River Dee, Aberdeen, with Victoria Bridge in the foreground leading into the harbour further downstream
The River Dee, Aberdeen, with Victoria Bridge in the foreground leading into the harbour further downstream

The rowing crew had capsized while turning their boat at the bridge and were drifting downstream into the harbour. The crew of four young rowers and their cox had partially self-rescued by climbing onto their inverted but inherently-buoyant rowing boat and were sitting clear of the water, awaiting help.

Aberdeen Harbour’s pilot cutter was operating nearby and was quickly on the scene to assist: the girls were taken on board the pilot cutter just as the inshore lifeboat launched, and also as Rescue Helicopter Bond 1, which was airborne on a training exercise locally, arrived and winched their doctor down to provide further assistance if required. The 5 girls were handed into the care of the Scottish Ambulance Service at Aberdeen Lifeboat Station.

With the girls safely ashore, the inshore lifeboat recovered the rowing shell, which had by now drifted down through the harbour, and returned it to the rowing club.

Cal Reed, helm of Aberdeen inshore lifeboat during the operation, says “The girls did well to remain calm and remember their safety drills – staying with their boat, using it for buoyancy and to keep them out of the water. A full array of rescue assets were quickly on scene, but particularly well done to the crew of the pilot cutter for effecting the rescue so quickly. It was a positive outcome for all involved and the lifeboat crew were pleased to be able to assist.”

Aberdeen's inshore lifeboat D-830

RNLI/Mark Gray

Aberdeen's inshore lifeboat D-830

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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