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Jessica’s first shout at Largs RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

On Tuesday 19 April the Largs RNLI volunteer crew were paged just before 6pm to assist a yacht which was unable to sail and suffering from gearbox failure.

Largs lifeboat with casualty vessel

Robert Campbell

Largs lifeboat with casualty vessel

For the volunteers at Largs RNLI dinner was interrupted as the crew pagers sounded on a lovely calm, sunny evening. The UK Coastguard requested the launch of the lifeboat to assist the RNLI lifeboat volunteers from Tighnabruaich who initially had the casualty vessel under tow.

The Largs crew aboard the R.A. Wilson inshore lifeboat included Jessica Side, one of the newest recruits at Largs, alongside three more experienced crew. Largs lifeboat rendezvoused with the volunteer crew aboard the James and Helen Mason from RNLI Tighnabruaich, and the casualty vessel, at the Southern end of the Isle of Bute.

Due to the size of the yacht the only suitable harbour available was Ardrossan, where the casualty vessel would be lifted out of the water. A crew member from Largs RNLI was put on board the yacht to assist with the tow arrangement as the tow transferred from Tighnabruaich lifeboat to Largs lifeboat.

After the tow was safely transferred, Tighnabruaich lifeboat returned to their station, accompanied by some dolphins along the way.

The casualty vessel was then safely towed by Largs lifeboat to Ardrossan Harbour where the owners were able to make arrangements for the safe recovery.

Largs lifeboat was then able to return to the lifeboat station, where it was cleaned, refuelled and made ready for service. At just after 10pm the volunteer crew were then able to return home and enjoy a well deserved dinner.

Jessica said: ‘Although I was nervous to attend my first shout I was very excited to put my training into action. As soon as the pager went my training just took over, I followed instruction from the helm and I knew I had the support of the rest of the volunteer crew here at Largs RNLI. ’

You never know what you are going to when the pager goes off, but I know that my training will equip me with the skills and knowledge I need.’

The RNLI is a charity which is reliant on voluntary donations to power our lifesaving work. The average annual cost of training an individual volunteer crew member is £1400.

Largs lifeboat with casualty vessel

Robert Campbell

Largs lifeboat with casualty vessel
Jessica in front of Largs lifeboat

RNLI/Claire McRae

Largs RNLI Crew Jessica Side

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.