To Fair Isle and Back for RNLI Stromness volunteers

Lifeboats News Release

The RNLI Stromness lifeboat volunteer crew steamed 50 nautical miles yesterday (25 June) to assist a solo sailor in difficulty.

View from lifeboat of yacht being towed through blue sea and sky and a few 'white horses'

RNLI/David Wishart

Solo sailor being towed to Westray
The RNLI Stromness lifeboat, Violet Dorothy and Kathleen, was launched around 11am yesterday (Saturday 25 June) to go to the aid of a solo sailor who had become very fatigued after his auto pilot had failed and he had to helm for a very long period of time.

The lifeboat located the casualty vessel at a latitude similar to that of Fair Isle, so the lifeboat and volunteer crew were already on a long service even before the tow was established with the casualty vessel.

The yacht was taken into Westray, the closest place of safety, where the skipper was, no doubt, able to enjoy a good sleep alongside the pontoon in the marina.

With hearty portions of incomparable Westray haddock and chips inside them, the lifeboat crew set off for Stromness and home where they arrived at 10pm.

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.