Fraserburgh Lifeboat launched to Yacht Sailing Erratically

Lifeboats News Release

Fraserburgh Lifeboat was launched on the morning of 15 December after a fishing vessel raised concerns about a yacht which was sailing in an erratic manner over 20 miles North of Fraserburgh.

RNLI/Billy Watson

Fraserburgh Lifeboat leaving station to go on shout

The fishing vessel had made several unsuccessful attempts to communicate with the yacht and there was no sign of anyone on deck.

With fears for the safety and well being of any occupants aboard the yacht the Coastguard launched Fraserburgh Lifeboat at 9.25am.

Coxswain Vic Sutherland, and volunteers mechanic Chay Cumming, Amy Allan, Gubby Duncan, Jason Flett, Martin Runcie, Dave Sutherland and Mark Ritchie left the harbour on the Trent Class relief Fraserburgh Lifeboat Douglas Aiken Smith within minutes of being paged.

They soon arrived on scene and at first there was no sign of anyone aboard, but after several minutes a person with little command of English emerged on deck.

Language difficulties impaired immediate effective communication but the person managed to indicate that he was fit and healthy and that all was well aboard the yacht.

The person also seemed to be saying that he was sailing from the Scandinavian Coast to Iceland and that it should take him 40 days.

Satisfied that the person and the yacht were in good shape and that they did not require assistance the relief Fraserburgh Lifeboat returned to station and was washed down and refuelled ready for the next service.

“It turned out to be a false alarm with good intent” said Fraserburgh Lifeboat Coxswain Vic Sutherland.

“The skipper of the fishing vessel which raised concerns about the yacht did exactly the right thing when he couldn’t see or make contact with anyone on board the yacht.

The occupant may have fallen overboard or have been taken ill or been injured below deck and would have required assistance.

An unmanned yacht would have been a hazard to shipping. We were able to go and assert that everything was okay and fortunately no one needed help.

I was very pleased with the way the crew responded so quickly and well done to Mark Ritchie who did very well on his first shout.”

RNLI/Billy Watson

Fraserburgh Lifeboat leaving on shout going up the channel at Fraserburgh Harbour

RNLI/Billy Watson

Fraserburgh Lifeboat about to leave Fraserburgh Harbour on shout after going up the channel

RNLI/Billy Watson

Yacht Spotted about 20 miles out to sea

RNLI/Billy Watson

Signalling to Occupant on Yacht

RNLI/Billy Watson

Dave Sutherland, Martin Runcie, Gubby Duncan, Mark Ritchie and Coxswain Vic Sutherland. Not in the picture were mechanic Chay Cumming, Amy Allan and Jason Flett.

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