The first of three call-outs this week came on Monday 30 August at 531pm when Fraserburgh RNLI volunteers responded to a request from UK Coastguard to assess the condition of a small angling boat aground on rocks under high cliffs near Pennan Harbour.
Once on scene a local farmer, and supporter of the RNLI following his own rescue a number of years ago, kindly offered to tow the boat to safety using his own vessel from Pennan Harbour. With the tow safely executed Fraserburgh lifeboat returned to station ready for it’s next call-out.
The second call came in the early hours of Thursday morning, 2 September when at 4.14am a fishing vessel reported they were drifting towards rocks near Troup Head following engine failure. In fair conditions but relative darkness it was decided that the safest way to assist the casualties was to two the vessel back to the safety of Fraserburgh Harbour.
Later that morning the volunteer crew were called upon again when at 11.36am they responded to an immediate launch after an signal was picked up from an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) in the area of Broadsea to Sandhaven. An EPIRB is used to send an automated signal from a vessel in distress. Working alongside the Coastguard rescue helicopter based at Inverness, the lifeboat volunteers searched the area while requesting local vessels to check their safety equipment for accidental activation. After some time the signal was pinned down to a local refuse disposal lorry on the shore. The assumption was made that an unwanted EPIRB had been disposed of in waste disposal and had activated after being collected for disposal.
Lifeboat Coxwain, Vic Sutherland, said:
‘These call-outs show our volunteers dedication to helping those in difficulty at sea but also offer a stark reminder of the importance of safely disposing of unwanted or out of date safety equipment. If in doubt please consult UK Coastguard on the best means of disposing of old equipment.’
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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries
Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.