Kayaker praised for actions as fishing vessel is rescued by Largs RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

On Friday (December 17) Largs RNLI came to the rescue of a fishing vessel near to Portencross with no form of communications on board thanks to the quick actions of a passing kayaker.

Kayak on lifeboat at Portencross Castle

RNLI/Claire McRae

Kayak on lifeboat at Portencross Castle

Largs RNLI were tasked by UK Coastguard just after 3pm on 17 December following a report from a kayaker of a small fishing vessel in trouble between Little Cumbrae and Portencross.

The seven metre fishing vessel had broken down while on passage from Girvan to Holy Loch Marina. However it was reported they had no means of calling for assistance on board.

A solo kayaker had been observing the fishing vessel and established something was not right, so they paddled out to the vessel to establish if there was a problem.

After speaking with the skipper onboard it was discovered the boat was having mechanical difficulties however had no means to communicate this need for assistance. The kayaker was then able to use their mobile phone to call the Coastguard for help.

The Largs RNLI lifeboat R.A.Wilson made best speed to the scene and on arrival determined that there was no immediate risk.

As darkness fell the UK Coastguard made the decision the kayaker should be safely transported by to shore by the lifeboat. The R.A.Wilson brought the kayaker safely ashore, dropping them at Portencross Castle into the care of the awaiting Ardrossan Coastguard Rescue Team, where they were thanked for their quick actions.

The lifeboat then returned to the fishing vessel and as no other vessels were available in the area, the decision was made to tow them to the nearest safe haven, which in this case was at Largs Yacht Haven.

On arrival at Largs Yacht Haven the volunteer crew from Largs RNLI met with the Coastguard Rescue Team from Ardrossan and handed over the casualty vessel.

The lifeboat then returned to Largs boathouse, where Covid protocols were followed, the lifeboat was cleaned, refuelled and made ready for service.

Largs RNLI Deputy Launch Authority, John Knowles, said: ‘We would like to extend our thanks the kayaker for their quick actions when observing the fishing vessel in distress.

‘This highlights the importance of having a means to call for assistance when you go to sea. We would advise this should suitable for the activity, that you know how to use it and it is easily accessible at all times.

‘If you find yourself in an emergency at the coast or see someone in difficulty on the water you should always dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.’

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