Multiple Saturday launches for Largs RNLI.

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteer crew at Largs RNLI were tasked twice by UK Coastguard on Saturday 11 June in response to a 35-foot yacht which had run aground.

Lifeboat on scene

RNLI/Claire McRae

Lifeboat on scene
Largs RNLI volunteers launched their Atlantic 85 lifeboat R.A. Wilson on Saturday just before 2pm in response to a page from the UK Coastguard reporting a 35-foot yacht aground South of the Hunterston Quay, with persons reported as possibly being in the water. The Ardrossan Coastguard Rescue Team and Largs Coastguard Rescue Team were also both tasked to this incident.

The volunteer lifeboat crew quickly arrived on scene and ascertained all six people on board the stricken boat were safe.

The initial decision was taken to try to tow the vessel into deeper water, however this was unsuccessful due to the on shore wind and falling tide.

Instead the boat was made safe, the lifeboat crew monitored as the crew from the casualty vessel used their tender to lay out their anchor, allowing them to wait for the rising tide. It was recommended by the lifeboat crew that non-essential personnel were taken off the stricken vessel, but this offer of assistance was declined.

UK Coastguard stood the lifeboat down and it returned to the lifeboat station at 3:40pm, where it was cleaned, refuelled and made ready for service.

At 6pm on Saturday evening concern had been expressed about the casualty vessel’s ability to re-float unaided so Largs lifeboat launched for the second time.

With the onshore wind of around 24-30 knots and a flood tide the decision was made to assist the yacht as it was re-floated.

A lifeboat crew member was put onboard the casualty vessel to connect the tow line. The lifeboat then pulled the vessel bow onto the weather and held it there until the tide had flooded enough for the casualty to be towed into deeper water.

The casualty vessel had to let go its anchor to allow the lifeboat to manoeuvre it. The lifeboat crew tried to recover the anchor but were unable to do so.

The lifeboat crew member remained on the casualty vessel until it was safely berthed in Largs Yacht Haven and met by Largs Coastguard Rescue Team.

The lifeboat was then stood down by UK Coastguard, when for the second time on Saturday the lifeboat and its volunteer crew returned to the lifeboat station, where the lifeboat was cleaned, refuelled and made ready for service.

John Griffiths, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Largs RNLI, said, ‘We would remind anyone planning a trip to sea to always respect the water. It is important to check the local tide times and weather forecast before venturing out, always carry a means of communication and wear a suitable lifejacket for your activity.

‘In a coastal emergency, or if you see someone in trouble at sea, you should dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.’

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.