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