Buckie Lifeboat searches for overdue yacht in dense fog – then gets second taski

Lifeboats News Release

The RNLI Buckie Lifeboat put to sea at 7.45pm on Saturday 13 August on a tasking from the UK Coastguard to search for a yacht reported overdue off Buckie Harbour.

A tired Buckie Lifeboat crew return to base from two ‘shouts’ on a single trip to sea on a foggy August evening.

RNLI/Terry McNeill

A tired Buckie Lifeboat crew return to base from two ‘shouts’ on a single trip to sea on a foggy August evening.

The yacht had telephoned its intentions to the harbour office to enter port around 5.30pm but had not been heard from since.

In dense fog, with visibility under 50 metres, the lifeboat’s volunteer crew of seven manned the radar and lined the rails, scouring the local area for the missing yacht. An initial search around The Mucks – the jagged rocks which protect the entrance to Buckie Harbour – revealed nothing, so the co-ordinating Coastguard extended the search eastwards.

As the lifeboat reached Findochty, reports reached the Coastguard that the missing yacht had been identified, safe, at a point to the west of Buckie.

However members of the Macduff Coastguard Rescue Team had now spotted what looked like a small craft upturned in the sea off Cullen: the lifeboat was re-tasked to investigate.

Passing Bow Fiddle Rock, the lifeboat suddenly broke clear of the fog bank into evening sunshine, making it easy to identify and approach what turned out to be a 3 metre inflatable dinghy, with an outboard motor attached, upturned in the water.

After ensuring that there was no one in danger in the water in the area, the lifeboat crew brought the dinghy on board and returned to Buckie. The dinghy was handed over to the Coastguard Team to allow them to investigate the circumstances of its apparent loss and, hopefully, return it to its owner.

The lifeboat was made ready for further service about 10.30pm.

“Saturday was a long day for the crew”, says coxswain Davie Grant.

“We initially mustered at noon to transit to an event at Lossiemouth Harbour where we welcomed the public on board for guided tours of the lifeboat until we returned to Buckie around 5.00pm.

“The pagers went off for the crew to assemble again shortly after 7.00pm, and it was mostly the same members who turned out for the shout.

“The Moray Firth in dense fog is a cold and un-nerving place to be trying to conduct a search close inshore using a combination of radar and the eyes and ears of the crew on deck. I’d like to pay tribute to the crew and to our Coastguard colleagues ashore for the way everyone worked together in challenging conditions to bring not one, but two ‘shouts’ to successful outcomes today – not to mention providing a brilliant visitor experience at the Lossiemouth event. Ten and a half hours of volunteer service in one day is a significant commitment.”

The RNLI Buckie Lifeboat is actively recruiting for several volunteer roles at the moment – seagoing crew, water safety advisers, fundraisers, and other roles ashore. No experience is necessary as full training is given: if you are aged 17 or over and would like to discuss these opportunities, email [email protected]

RNLI Media contacts:

Terry McNeill, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, RNLI Buckie Lifeboat Station. Tel 07941 329798. E: [email protected] Martin Macnamara, RNLI Regional Media Officer, E: [email protected] 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 over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, 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.

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.

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