After a busy Friday, there was no rest for Troon RNLI lifeboat crew on Saturday 4 June 2022 as the bank holiday weekend callouts continued with the first call of the day at 4.51am after reports of a person in the water at Prestwick.
As the volunteers left their beds Belfast Coastguard also tasked the Ayr Coastguard Rescue Team to assist officers from Police Scotland.
Soon Trent class all-weather lifeboat RNLB Jim Moffat and D Class inshore lifeboat
Sheena were making their way out of the harbour and heading for the location.
As both lifeboats approached the area, information came through from Belfast Coastguard that the person was no longer in the water so the lifeboats were able to return back to Troon.
A few hours later at 1.21pm, Belfast Coastguard once again activated the lifeboat crew pagers following reports from a member of the public that a paddleboarder may be in difficulty between Barassie and Irvine.
Once again the crew assembled at the lifeboat station launching the D class inshore lifeboat followed by the Trent class all-weather lifeboat.
With both lifeboats carrying out a search, the paddleboarder was soon seen at Lappock Rock situated south of Irvine. The paddleboarder was safe and well but after discussion with the crew of the inshore lifeboat accepted a lift to the shore where they were met by the Ayr Coastguard Team.
With the paddleboarder safely ashore, the lifeboats returned to Troon where they were made ‘ready for service’ with assistance of the shore crew.
With the sun still shining, another callout soon followed and at 4.53pm, the pagers sounded again after a report to Belfast Coastguard of a dinghy drifting near to the harbour at Troon. Also tasked was the Ayr Coastguard Team.
Once again RNLI Trent class all-weather lifeboat was soon heading out the harbour.
After locating the dinghy and speaking to those on-board they were quite happy fishing and were on this occasion not in difficulty.
While dealing with this incident a further call came from the Coastguard that paddleboarders were drifting offshore at South Beach, Troon. Luckily there was a rowing regatta being held by Troon Coastal Rowing club at South Beach who were able to assist in bringing three paddleboarders ashore to the Ayr Coastguard Team and no lifeboat involvement was required.
With no further assistance required, the lifeboats were able to stand down and return to station.
Following a busy couple of days for the crew, and their families, Troon RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Jim Redmond said, ‘Thanks to the members of the public who contacted the Coastguard about the incidents. It is important that if you see someone in difficulty or who you think may be in difficulty, to contact the Coastguard by dialling 999.
‘I’d also like to thank the families of the crew, who on weekends when the sun is shining along the Ayrshire Coast assist their partners and family members to respond to callouts often sacrificing family plans so that they can crew the lifeboats. With several callouts over the last few days, from early morning to late at night, their continued support enables us to continue to launch the lifeboats to save lives at sea.’
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.