Largs RNLI Volunteers Help 4 People after Yacht Runs Aground
Largs lifeboat was paged just after 6.30pm on Thursday 26 August, when UK Coastguard received a call from 4 people on board a yacht which had run aground and was listing over on its side in Kilchattan Bay, Isle of Bute.
Arriving on scene, a crew member from the lifeboat was placed on board the yacht to assess the situation. Given the precarious condition of the listing yacht and in consideration of the short amount of time until low tide, it was decided that undertaking a tow was necessary and the safest way to assist the casualties.
Unfortunately towing the yacht to deeper water was not possible. With the tide still ebbing and the yacht continuing to list there was concern that any passing commercial vessels would cause sufficient wash to worsen the situation. A discussion was held by the Lifeboat Helm, Lifeboat Operations Manager and Launching Authorities and it was agreed that the lifeboat would stand by the yacht until it could be re-floated.
Due to the severe list of the vessel all non-essential crew members from the yacht would be removed onto the Lifeboat reducing the number of people at risk.
As the tide turned and water began to rise, the wind also increased and changed direction causing the risk that the yacht could be pushed further into shallow water. To alleviate this risk the Lifeboat Helm instructed the crew to set up a tow from the yacht's stern allowing the yacht to be pulled free and into deeper water as soon as sufficient depth allowed.
After a considerable effort by the Lifeboat crew, the vessel was eventually re-floated. The yacht's crew managed to start their engine and checks were made for any damage or water ingress. Once all was found to be satisfactory the yacht made its own way to Largs Yacht Haven.
With the vessel safely underway, Largs Lifeboat was stood down and returned to station where Covid protocols were carried out and the Lifeboat was made ready for continued service.
Largs Lifeboat Operations Manager, John Griffiths said:
‘This call-out highlights the considerable efforts undertaken by our volunteers, both the boat crew, the shore crew and volunteer launch authorities here at the station. All of whom were prepared and able to assist a casualty for over 6 hours yesterday evening. Their efforts are commendable and I would like to thank them for the great commitment they make to helping those in danger at sea.’
‘It is important for all vessel owners to ensure they have checked local charts and publications when entering an unknown area to ensure they have prior knowledge of safe moorings, anchorages and shallow waters.’
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.