RNLI Volunteers Rescue Casualties from Life-raft After Motor Boat Sinks

Lifeguards News Release

Wick lifeboat was launched at 4.40am on Saturday morning (3 July) after receiving a report of a vessel taking on water half a mile off Badbea, Caithness

The lifeboat made its way to the scene at full speed arriving at 5.10am. On arrival it was clear that the vessel had sunk and the two occupants had taken to a life raft.

Speaking of the dramatic rescue, a spokesperson from Wick RNLI, said:

‘Thankfully the seas were calm on Saturday morning, but no mariner ever wants to find themselves having to abandon ship, let alone in rough seas.’

‘The casualties the lifeboat helped on Saturday made a number of good decisions that helped ensure their safe rescue: They stayed with their boat until it was no longer safe to do so, they carried a portable VHF radio with them, and they had a well maintained life-raft fitted to their vessel which they knew how to operate.’

‘They were cold and a little wet but otherwise well. Had they abandoned into the water directly the circumstances would have been very different. Sea temperatures remain very low throughout the year and hypothermia is a constant risk.’

Every day afloat is an adventure but even on the shortest trip you can get caught out, so it pays to be prepared, including carrying the right boat safety kit. A well maintained life-raft is just one of many safety devices that could help to save your life if you get into difficulty.

Sunken vessel off Caithness

RNLI/John Taylor

Sunken vessel


Wick Crew Member throws line to life-raft

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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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