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