Multi-Agency search launched off Skye after emergency beacon activates

Lifeboats News Release

Kyle of Lochalsh RNLI were launched yesterday (12 February) after the UK Coastguard received an emergency signal from an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) which had began transmitting in the area

RNLI/Andrew MacDonald

Kyle lifeboat - 'Spirit of Fred. Olsen'

Kyle lifeboat Spirit of Fred. Olsen was launched at 6.00pm, along with Mallaig and Portree lifeboats, a UK Coastguard helicopter and multiple ground based Coastguard teams, after a vessel’s emergency beacon began transmitting in the area between Kyle of Lochalsh and Broadford.

Kyle lifeboat immediately began a search of the expected position of the beacon, as other assets made their way to the scene. As the search progressed, further information was received which seemed to suggest the emergency signal may be coming from the shore, and not out at sea. Eventually the signal was pinpointed to a malfunctioning beacon onboard a vessel which was in a local boat yard for the winter.

Once it was confirmed that the emergency signal received was coming from the defective beacon, the search was stood down and Kyle lifeboat returned to station. The lifeboat was refuelled and made ready for service by 7:45pm

Speaking of the incident, a Kyle RNLI spokesperson said: ‘Although this was a false alarm, it shows the importance of having an EPIRB onboard your vessel, and the difference it can make in an emergency. Within minutes of the signal being received the Coastguard were able to task multiple agencies to the scene to begin searching the area ’.

Notes to editors

· Please credit the library picture to Kyle RNLI

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact

Andrew MacDonald, RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, 07748 707606 or [email protected]

Gemma McDonald, Regional Media Manager (Scotland), 07826 900639 or [email protected]

Martin Macnamara, Regional Media Officer (Scotland), 07920 365929 or [email protected]

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

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.