At 2.53pm on Tuesday 29 December 2020, Belfast Coastguard paged the volunteer crew after reports from members of the public of a person in the water at South Beach, Troon.
The Coastguard Search and Rescue helicopter, Rescue 199 and the Ayr Coastguard Rescue Team were also tasked to the scene.
The crew assembled and quickly launched RNLI D Class inshore lifeboat Sheena followed by the Trent class all-weather lifeboat
RNLB Jim Moffat.
The inshore lifeboat was first on scene and recovered 2 casualties from the water near to seal rock at South Beach who were clinging to a paddle board.
The Coastguard Search and Rescue helicopter, Rescue 199 was also quickly on scene, landing on the beach, and the inshore lifeboat then proceeded to rendezvous with rescue helicopter. Initial casualty care was administered by the lifeboat crew and the casualties were taken aboard the helicopter to be flown to hospital.
The inshore lifeboat then retrieved the paddle board and both lifeboats returned to station where they were made ‘ready for service’ with the assistance of the shore crew.
We have no further information available on the casualties since their transfer to hospital.
Duty Coxswain Ethan Harris said, ‘It’s very easy to get into difficulty in these wintery conditions but thanks to the members of public who alerted the emergency services.
‘If you think you see someone in difficulty at sea or on the coast, please dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.’
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 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and 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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries
Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.