High excitement at Kirkwall RNLI Open day as Lifeboat called out to rescue local
Kirkwall RNLI Lifeboat was called out to rescue a local creel boat just as the Open day was getting started. Back in time for the crowds to enjoy a visit aboard.
Duty is never put on hold for RNLI volunteer crews, even on the station open day. A call for assistance is always answered and fortunately this time there was plenty of crew close at hand for a rapid response.
Shetland Coastguard (SCG) paged 'Tasking Request' at 10:24 am and duty Launching Authority Graeme Smith called for more information. SCG informed him that a local creel boat had called for assistance as she had engine failure and was drifting toward the rocks off Rerwick head in strong tides.
Graeme paged "Launch Lifeboat" and Kirkwall RNLI Lifeboat "Margaret Foster" departed station with Cox Ali Cameron and six more volunteer crew aboard at 10:28. A super-speedy launch was made possible due to many of the crew being already at the Lifeboat station as the Kirkwall RNLI Open Day was just getting underway.
The lifeboat arrived on scene at 10:40 and had the casualty under tow by 10:43. As the weather was fine with light winds the tow back to Kirkwall was short and the casualty was safely secured alongside Kirkwall Marina by 11:38 and the lifeboat was returned to her berth, secured and ready for service again twelve minutes before noon much to the delight of the public attending the open day.
Ali Cameron, RNLI Coxswain for Kirkwall RNLI Lifeboat, said: ‘As volunteers we are always ready to respond to a call for assistance and today we were also very quick to respond as we were already mustered for the Open Day event. It was a good spectacle for the public attending and a good outcome for the casualty.'
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.