Kyle RNLI called to assist divers in the water after their boat becomes disabled

Lifeboats News Release

Kyle lifeboat launched this morning after a dive boat suffered mechanical failure in Loch Alsh, and drifted away from the dive area resulting in the 9 divers needing assistance when they surfaced

RNLI/Andrew MacDonald

Lifeboat approaching 2 divers

Kyle lifeboat Spirit of Fred. Olsen launched at 11:55am after the dive master called for assistance when his boat suffered a mechanical failure and was unable to pick up the group of divers who were submerged at the time.

When the lifeboat arrived on scene 2 minutes after launching, a few of the divers had already surfaced and were being assisted by nearby vessels. Three of the divers were alongside the SD Raasay, but due to the size of the vessel were unable to get onboard. The lifeboat picked the divers out of the water and transferred them onto the larger vessel, before going to assist another member of the group who had just surfaced.

The fishing vessel Helen Bruce picked up another three divers and transferred them onto the SD Raasay whilst the lifeboat went to search for the remaining two who were still underwater. A short while later the final members of the diving party surfaced and were picked up by the lifeboat.

Once it was established that everyone was accounted for and uninjured, the SD Raasay took some of the group back to Kyle whilst the lifeboat went to assist the stricken dive boat. The lifeboat took the RIB under tow back to Kyleakin before returning to the lifeboat station at 1:45pm.

A Kyle RNLI spokesperson says: ‘The diving party had just purchased their new dive boat and were extremely well equipped, however unfortunately they were extremely unlucky and the boat suffered a severe mechanical failure which left it completely disabled in the water. Due to the swift action of the Dive Master calling for assistance early, the entire group were all recovered quickly and safely.’

Notes to editors

· Please credit the pictures to Kyle RNLI

· Higher quality versions are available on request

· This is the 20th callout of the year for the Kyle volunteers

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact:

Andrew MacDonald, RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, 07748 707606 or [email protected]

Gemma McDonald, Regional Media Manager (Scotland), 07826 900639 or [email protected]

Martin Macnamara, Regional Media Officer (Scotland), 07920 365929 or [email protected]

RNLI/Andrew MacDonald

Recovering 3 further divers

RNLI/Andrew MacDonald

The dive boat under tow

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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 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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