Busy Weekend for Largs RNLI Lifeboat results in three shouts
This weekend (Friday 13-Sunday 15 May), saw Largs RNLI’s inshore lifeboat launch on service three times
An early start for the crew at Largs on Friday as their pagers were activated at 7.30am. The Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat was tasked to assist a lone yachtsman onboard his vessel within Millport bay, Isle of Cumbrae, following initial reports of a vessel taking on water and slightly tilting to one side.
The volunteer crew launched and made best speed to the yacht’s location. Upon arrival, a crew member was placed onboard with the salvage pump to try and stem the ingress of water.
After some time, with the level of water neither reducing nor increasing, the lifeboat helm, Dave Linton, decided to tow the yacht from its mooring to shallower water adjacent to Millport Pier.
After a short motor, the lifeboat crew handed over the yachts mooring lines to members of Cumbrae Coastguard rescue team who manoeuvred the yacht into a position that would allow checks to be made on the hull integrity when the tide had gone out.
As the yachtsman and his vessel were now safe, the lifeboat was released from service and returned to the lifeboat station.
On Saturday 14 May, the pagers sounded for the second time over the weekend at 11.32am. This time, the lifeboat was launched following a report from a passing car of a stationary boat, approximately 300 meters offshore, using a bucket to bail out the vessel.
The volunteer crew launched and within a matter of minutes arrived at the location provided by the initial report.
Upon arrival, a small wooden boat along with the occupant were seen on shore. Following a conversation with the boat user, the crew discovered the boat occupant was sometimes required to bail out small amounts of water using a bucket.
The lifeboat crew informed the Coastguard operations room and as all was well were released from service to return to the boathouse. This call out was classed as a false alarm with good intent.
The final call out over weekend took place on Sunday 15 May, when the crew were alerted at 8.56pm and requested to launch to assist three people on a small tender after two of them had fallen from it into the water.
The volunteer crew launched their Atlantic 85 lifeboat and made best speed to the location provided by the Coastguard.
Upon arrival, the crew found that all three occupants of the tender had moored their motorboat on its mooring and were caught by a strong gust of wind as they were getting ready to depart. The pickup buoy rope had then come across the tender and pulled two of the occupants into the sea.
Luckily, all of the individuals had been wearing auto-inflation lifejackets which allowed them to get to another yacht where they were pulled onboard.
The lifeboat took both casualties who had been in the water onboard and transported them ashore where they were met by members of the Largs Coastguard rescue team.
The lifeboat returned to recover the final casualty, along with their tender, and returned them to shore. After a brief check over, the crew advised the Coastguard that all were now safely ashore.
A final check with the yacht owner, the lifeboat crew were released from service for the final time.
Upon arrival at the station, the lifeboat was refuelled, washed down, and made ready for the next service call.
Largs RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, John Griffiths, said: ‘Thank you to our volunteer crew for their response to all three of the call outs this weekend. It was an exceptionally busy weekend for Largs RNLI with some crew members also taking part in the RNLI casualty care course and others who were involved in tractor and trailer trials.’
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
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