Sunday Shout for Largs RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

Largs RNLI’s lifeboat was launched at 4pm on Sunday 24 April to reports of an inflatable being blown off shore at West Kilbride.

Lifeboat Launching

RNLI/Claire McRae

Lifeboat Launching

The volunteer crew at Largs RNLI responded quickly to their pagers and launched the Atlantic 85 lifeboat in response to a request by UK Coastguard.

They made best speed to the reported location of the inflatable where the Coastguard helicopter, Rescue 199, and the Ardrossan Coastguard Rescue Team were already on scene.

The inflatable was quickly identified as an unturned inflatable kayak, with the seat and paddle being spotted floating nearby. Rescue 199 used smoke flares to mark the location of these to help with their recovery and begin marking the area for further searching to take place.

On the shore the owner of the kayak made contact with the Ardrossan Coastguard Rescue Team and was able to confirm there was no one onboard the kayak, and all members of her family were safe and accounted for.

Once this information was confirmed Rescue 199 left the scene, and Largs lifeboat collected the kayak, seat and paddle to be returned to the owner.

Largs lifeboat was then able to return to the lifeboat station, where a crew change took place for this evening's planned training session afloat.

Dave Hewitt, Largs lifeboat helm, said: ‘Although the weather conditions were calm the offshore wind caused the inflatable kayak to quickly drift out to sea.

‘The coast can be a fantastic day out for everyone, however we would encourage everyone to respect the water, to understand the risks and to stay safe. You should check the tide times and weather forecasts before you go, and ensure you have a means of calling for help.

‘Remember in a coastal emergency you should dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.’

Deflated Inflatable Kayak

RNLI/Claire McRae

Inflatable Kayak

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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