Invergordon RNLI launched to stranded friends clutching to Oil Rig Anchor Chain

Lifeboats News Release

Invergordon RNLI were launched to rescue two stranded males who had become overpowered by the tide and were found on the anchor chain of a berthed Oil Rig in the Cromarty Firth.

The RNLI volunteer crew pagers sounded at 6:02pm Friday 7th August on request from Aberdeen’s HM Coastguard to attend a report of two males who have become stranded on an anchor chain of the berthed Well Safe Guardian semi-submersible Oil Rig, moored in the Cromarty Firth, across from the Lifeboat Station.

Setting out from the public slipway on the town’s shore road for an Open Swimming session in the firth, accompanied by a friend in a kayak for safety, the pair set off but became caught up in the strong ebbing tidal current and soon found themselves in difficulty, with the moored Well Safe Guardian fast approaching, the two friends made a bid to catch and hold onto the anchor chain, and were quickly spotted by crew of the rig who raised the alarm as they scrambled up the chain, as the kayak made its way up the firth with the outgoing tide.

The Trent class Lifeboat ‘Douglas Aikman Smith’ was quickly on scene with Inverness HM Search and Rescue Helicopter ‘Rescue151’ also on route, the decision was made to launch the all-weather lifeboat’s daughter XP craft to navigate into the location and extract the males to safety and bring back on board the Lifeboat for the quick trip back to Invergordon West Harbour. Once on board the Lifeboat crew medically assessed the friends, albeit cold but no medical issues were reported.

Meanwhile, Rescue 151 had pinpointed the kayak further up the firth and marked it for the crew to recover once the two casualties were safe ashore, the lifeboat located and recovered the kayak to be reunited with the owner.

The Lifeboat was made ready for service by 8:30pm undertaking all COVID-19 precautions as outlined by the RNLI.

Michael MacDonald, RNLI Volunteer Press Officer and Crew for Invergordon’s RNLI Lifeboat, says: ‘This evening’s call-out shows the importance as the summer season continues, advice was given to prior planning, in respect of weather conditions, tide and means to communicate if difficulty occurs, and keep it within reach. Both Respect The Water and Float to Live key messages were passed over to the two individuals for any future trips.’

Stranded on Anchor Chain

RNLI/Michael MacDonald

Stranded on Anchor Chain
Stranded on Anchor Chain with XP Recovery

RNLI/Michael MacDonald

Stranded on Anchor Chain with XP Recovery
Stranded on Anchor Chain

RNLI/Michael MacDonald

Stranded on Anchor Chain

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