Thurso RNLI Lifeboat recovers missing boat
On Friday 1 March at 1050pm Police Scotland requested assistance to trace a small rowing boat seen in Thurso river with four persons on board. The boat was last seen heading down river towards the sea. Thurso RNLI volunteer crew were called out and the Severn class lifeboat The Taylors was launched.
At 1105pm The Taylors arrived at the mouth of Thurso river and launched the RNLI inflatable Y boat with two crew members. The Y boat proceeded to search the river area and found an oar in the water.
The Taylors searched the Thurso Bay area and a few minutes later the on-board radar picked up something half a mile out into the bay. This turned out to be a small unoccupied rowing boat approx nine foot long, with a lifebuoy laying in the bottom.
The search was then intensified with local Coastguard and Police searching the shoreline. A total of nine white flares were used to assist with the search.
Newly appointed Thurso Lifeboat Operations Manager Scott Youngson took up a position in the Thurso harbour area to liaise with other services and was able to update RNLI crews of events.
Around half past midnight Police Scotland informed RNLI that all four persons had been traced safe and well in the Thurso area and that two of them had been in the water at some stage.
On Saturday 2 March at 0.40am The Taylors was stood down and returned to Scrabster.
Thurso RNLI Coxswain Dougie Munro said: ‘When the radar indicated something and it turned out to be an empty boat we then realised that we needed to up the game as the occupants could be in the water, so we put up the flares to help with the search’.
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.