Portree RNLI volunteers launch twice, aiding four people in a busy week

Lifeboats News Release

Portree lifeboats volunteers launched twice this week in as restrictions in Scotland ease.

RNLI/Iain Beaton

Second coxswain, Brian Wells, and second mechanic, Donald Budge, launched the stations all-weather lifeboat with five other crew to reports of two walkers on the shore 2.5 miles south of the lifeboat station.

The walkers had become disorientated on there descent from Ben Tianavaig Trig Point, with darkness and tiredness setting in, the walkers made the right call to alert the emergency services.


Commenting on the rescue, Brian said: 'We launched at at 9:33pm and made best speed to the area. I tasked the crew with launching our daughter craft - the XP boat - but with the rocky coastline and the incoming swell it was proving to be a difficult rescue. The UK Coastguard made the decision to request the Coastguard rescue helicopter based in Stornoway to lift the casualties off the coastline.'

Both casualties were flown to Portree helipad whilst the lifeboat refuelled and made ready for service at 1am.

On Sunday at 7:37am, the pagers sounded for a second time as Coxswain Hamish Corrigall and Mechanic John Nicolson launched with five other crew to reports of a kayaker in difficulty below Brochel Castle on the Eastern side of Raasay.

Hamish said: 'We arrived on scene at 8:51am, I tasked the crew with launching our daughter craft the XP boat and on initial assessment the kayaker seemed in in good spirits so I decided to recover him to the lifeboat and make best speed for Sconser slipway where their vehicle was situated. During transit, the casualty mentioned that he had swallowed some sea water, so I alerted UK Coastguard to have an ambulance standing by at Sconser to check the casualty over for secondary drowning.'

'It was great and reassuring to see all must have been well as, on leaving the lifeboat station, I noticed he was parking his car with kayak on top outside the local chippy!.'

Lifeboat Operations Manager, John Ellis, also added: 'It was a busy week for the crew and our charity, but in each case, the casualties did the right thing and called for help before the situation became any worse. Our volunteers are here 365 days a year 24 hours a day, if you need us call, and we’ll be there.’

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.

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