Broken-down French motor cruiser requires Islay RNLI assistance
Late on the evening of 1 June, Islay’s volunteer lifeboat was paged to go to the aid of a disabled motor cruiser with three of a crew on board that was drifting about 12 miles off Coull Point on the west coast of Islay
Paged at 10.55pm the Helmut Schroder II of Dunlossit arrived at the casualty at 1.05am on Sunday morning in fresh conditions and took the vessel in tow. With the tow line secure, it was decided to take the stricken vessel to Port Ellen.
Due to rough seas it took six hours for the journey to Port Ellen, arriving there at 7.30 am. On arrival at Port Ellen harbour the tow line was shortened to come in past the lighthouse and to prepare to take the vessel alongside the lifeboat where, in calmer waters, the tow line was dropped and the boat made secure alongside the lifeboat for the final approach to the pier and a safe berth.
Members of the Islay Coastguard were on the pier to assist in tying up the cruiser. The lifeboat left Port Ellen at 8am and was refuelled and ready for service again by 9.40am.
This was a long eleven hour rescue with a happy ending but our thoughts are with the members and families of the French lifeboat service SNSM who lost their lives this week in a rescue; a grim reminder of how perilous the water can be, our thoughts are with all those involved.
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.