Donate now

First shouts for Islay RNLI’s two newest crew

Lifeboats News Release

On Monday, 14 August, Islay RNLI launched to a yacht without fuel drifting off the north coast of Gigha. This was the first call-out for two of Islay’s crew; volunteer crew member Innes Urquhart and Islay’s new full-time mechanic Gipper Ainslie.

RNLI/Islay RNLI/Chis Mason

Islay RNLI during training: L to R - Tony, Jonathan, Innes, Cara, David and Raymond

With six crew members, the Islay RNLI all-weather lifeboat launched shortly after 11.15pm to a yacht with one person on board. The yacht was drifting after unexpectedly running out of fuel. With no means of power, the decision was made to give the boat enough fuel to safely make way to the nearest suitable harbour. This ensured the yacht was safe and not a danger to themselves or any other vessel. By not taking the yacht under tow Islay lifeboat remained available should they receive another call-out. Islay lifeboat returned to Port Askaig to ready the lifeboat for service again by 2.10am.

This shout was the first for Islay’s newest crew member Gipper Ainslie who had only started that day having joined as Islay’s new full-time mechanic. Gipper has taken up post, making the permanent move from RNLI Dunbar on the east of Scotland, to Islay. He had only been in bed 10 minutes when the pager sounded and it was back out to the ‘office’.

For Innes Urquhart, Islay’s youngest currently serving volunteer at 18, it was his first launch having only had his pager for a week. Innes said, ‘It feels good to have the first shout done and it wasn’t such a difficult one either. I’ve always been interested in joining the lifeboat, ever since Dad used to be on the crew. I thought I might as well sign up and it’s been a good decision, I’m really enjoying it so far.’.

With not much time to think on their first shouts, the pagers sounded for a second time on Tuesday (15 August). The UK Coastguard requested Islay lifeboat to assist a motor vessel suffering engine failure in Loch Sween. However, before launching Islay lifeboat were stood down when a another local boat, just minutes from the casualty vessel, was able to volunteer to tow them to the nearest safe and suitable port.

Islay RNLI’s Open Day will be held at Port Askaig pier this Sunday (20 August) from 2-4pm. Come and join us for lots of family fun, games, baking and teas, stalls and visit the RNLI shop or take a tour on the lifeboat. All proceeds support Islay RNLI.

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

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.