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Girvan Lifeboat on lockdown launch to cries for help

Lifeboats News Release

1st lockdown launch for Girvan crew

Whist the country remains in lockdown due to Covid-19, the volunteer crew from Girvan Lifeboat this evening were paged and launched the Shannon Class Lifeboat 'Elizabeth and Gertrude Allan' at the request of UK Coastguard.

This was in response to 999 calls reporting cries of help from the rocks near the harbour entrance at the coastal village of Maidens.

The volunteer crew responded to the pager and mustered at the station in accordance with new RNLI guidance in the midst of the Covid-19 climate. Once sufficient crew was in attendance, the remaining crew en route were instructed by message to return home to limit unnecessary interaction.

The RNLI has issued comprehensive guidance on how to safely execute the lifesaving service and the Girvan crew have adapted to the challenge. Previously, when the pager sounded, every available crew member would attend the station as quickly as possible and an operational crew would be selected. New rules to safely observe social distancing, and to best protect the crew and any casualty, dictate that as soon as the required number present at the station a message is relayed to the rest of the crew not to attend.

The lifeboat launched at 18:50 and made best speed North up the coast arriving on scene a short time later. Whilst Coastguard Rescue teams
carried out shoreline searches, Girvan lifeboat continued to search the coastline.

With a thorough search having been carried out by the lifeboat and Coastguard Rescue Teams and nothing untoward found, the Coastguard made contact with the 1st informant once again ensuring that all the relevant areas had been searched, both the Lifeboat and CRT stood down and the call deemed to be a false alarm with good intent.

This was our 1st callout during the lockdown period and as usual our volunteer crew and the RNLI are always on call and available to launch our lifeboats and remain so during the current Coronavirus pandemic, we will always attend when requested and if you happen to see or hear someone in trouble at sea or on the coast while participating in your daily exercise, we would rather people continue with the philosophy of if in doubt dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.

We will however continue to relay the sentiments of the RNLI of advising the public not to exercise at sea or on the coast, and maybe end up in a situation that could not only put them at risk but our volunteer crew and other Emergency services.

Girvan lifeboat returned to station around 20:10 and was made ready for the next service call.

RNLI/Craig Sommerville

Lifeboat launching to cries for help

RNLI/Craig Sommerville

Lifeboat launching to cries for help

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.