Donate now

Kyle and Portree lifeboats called to vessel aground after flares sighted

Lifeboats News Release

Kyle of Lochalsh and Portree RNLI lifeboats were called to a 7 metre rigid inflatable boat aground on rocks off Torridon. The 6 persons on board the vessel had set off flares after running aground on the rapidly dropping tide

Casualty RIB aground on rocks and Kyle lifeboat alongside

RNLI/Andrew MacDonald

Kyle lifeboat with the Grounded RIB

Kyle lifeboat Spirit of Fred. Olsen launched at 3:52pm yesterday (7th June), after the UK Coastguard received reports of flares being sighted in the Torridon area. The UK Coastguard had launched both Kyle & Portree lifeboats after a fishing vessel had reported seeing multiple flares around 3:45pm.

Kyle lifeboat arrived on scene at 4:44pm to find the RIB hard aground, and quickly put a crew member onboard the casualty vessel to assess the situation and ensure that no-one was injured. With it confirmed that everyone was safe and well, and Portree lifeboat en route, the Kyle crew started to transfer the people from the casualty vessel onto the lifeboat. A short time later Portree lifeboat arrived on scene, and they were then transferred onto the larger lifeboat.

As the RIB was stuck fast on the rocks, and with no way to confirm that the boat was watertight, it was decided that the best course of action was to wait on scene until the tide turned and the boat refloated. Shortly before 6:30pm, the RIB successfully floated free of the rocks and both lifeboats were stood down and could return to their respective stations.

Kyle lifeboat arrived back on station at 7:30pm, and was refueled and made ready for service by 8.00pm.

Speaking of the incident, a Kyle RNLI spokesperson said: ‘The crew of the casualty vessel were very well equipped, and did the correct thing. After running aground and with patchy VHF radio coverage, they had tried attracting attention by using visual signals and an air horn. When this proved unsuccessful, they set off flares to attract the attention of the passing vessel.’

Notes to editors

  • Please credit all pictures to Kyle RNLI
  • For further details on the casualty vessel, please contact the UK Coastguard
  • Further pictures of the rescue are available if required
  • Video footage may be available later today

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]

Lifeboat crew member standing on rock next to stricken RIB

RNLI/Andrew MacDonald

Lifeboat crew member standing on rock next to stricken RIB
Kyle lifeboat arriving on scene with RIB on the rocks

RNLI/Andrew MacDonald

Kyle lifeboat arriving on scene with RIB on the rocks
RIB being refloated on incoming tide

RNLI/Andrew MacDonald

RIB being refloated on incoming tide

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.