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Thurso RNLI lifeboat in nine hour rescue of lone rower 39 miles out at sea

Lifeboats News Release

Thurso RNLI Lifeboat The Taylors was launched at 10.47 am on Thursday 30 December in response to the report of a lone rower blown off course. The 24 foot Atlantic Offshore Vessel which had no engine was last reported approx 39 miles out in the Atlantic Ocean North West of Scrabster.

RNLI/Karen Munro

24 foot vessel alongside The Taylors in Scrabster harbour
The Taylors arrived on scene at 12.30 pm and a tow rope was secured to the vessel. The occupant initially decided to stay on the vessel but the heavy sea with four metre waves made towing too dangerous and likely to pull the small vessel underwater. The inflatable Y boat was launched and in challenging sea conditions the two volunteer crew members manoeuvred the inflatable close to the vessel and took the casualty onto the Y boat and then safely transferred him to The Taylors.

The casualty who had been at sea for 48 hours was in good health and said he had left Durness (70 miles west of Thurso) two days earlier en route to Scrabster but tide and wind had blown him out to sea. He had used his sat nav phone to make contact with his family who had then raised the alarm.

The vessel was tied alongside the lifeboat and taken back to Scrabster. The Taylors arrived back at Scrabster at 8.10pm and the rower was reunited with his waiting family. Local Coastguard were on scene and spoke to the rower.

The Taylors was cleaned and refuelled ready for service

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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