RNLI Kessock in inflatable doughnut rescue off Nairn beach

Lifeboats News Release

The RNLI Kessock charity lifeboast was paged shortly before 5pm by Aberdeen Coastguard yesterday (Saturday 01 August) to reports of an inflatable doughnut with two occupants drifting out to sea in the Moray Firth off the coast of Ardesier.

By chance, the UK Coastguard helicopter based at Stornoway was at Dalcross refuelling so they were tasked and quickly on scene.

It is believed that the two teenage casualties had entered the water around the golf course and drifted out to sea, possibly pulled out by the receding tide.

The teenagers were airlifted by 948 which then landed on the shore where the casualties were safely passed to the awaiting HM Coastguard - Highland and the Scottish Ambulance Service.

The Kessock lifeboat arrived on scene as the casualties were being winched and further tasked to recover the inflatable. Once this had been achieved the crew were stood down and returned to the station where the was cleaned, refuelled and made ready for service.The Robert and Isobel Mowat

Volunteer Crew Member and Helm Dougie Munro said, “Yesterday's rescue highlights the dangers of using inflatables at the beach. The casualties were incredibly lucky to have been spotted by a walker on the beach who witnessed the teenagers drifting out to sea. The walker reacted quickly dialling 999 and the coastguard requested. A swift response by CG R948, local CG teams and Kessock lifeboat prevented what could have been a very different outcome."

Saturday’s rescue further emphasises the RNLI’s message that inflatables are not appropriate flotation devices and should only be used at the beach with extreme caution, and ideally kept for the pool.

The volunteer lifeboat crew at Kessock are ready and willing to respond at a moment’s notice - if you would like to help them continue their work take a look at their Facebook page www.facebook.com/RNLIKessock

RNLI media contacts

Yvette Kershaw , Lifeboat Press Officer, 07809 116153, Yvette_Kershaw@gmail.com

Martin Macnamara, RNLI Regional Media Officer for Scotland, 01738 642986, 07920 365929, martin_macnamara@rnli.org.uk

Gemma McDonald, RNLI Regional Media Manager for Scotland, 01738 642956, 07826 900639, gemma_mcdonald@rnli.org.uk

RNLI Press Office, 01202 336789

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RNLI/Jane Hier

Recovered inflatable after the casualties had been rescued

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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.

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