At 3.42pm on Thursday 17 August 2023, Troon RNLI all-weather and inshore lifeboats were requested to launch after reports from a member of the public of an inflatable dinghy, with people onboard and people in the water, that was struggling to get to shore off the coast at Ayr.
With Belfast Coastguard activating the lifeboat crew pagers, they also tasked the volunteers of the Ayr and Ardrossan Coastguard Rescue Teams to assist from the shore.
RNLI Trent class all-weather lifeboat RNLB Jim Moffat and D class inshore lifeboat
Sheena launched and were heading to the scene. As the lifeboats made best speed to the area Ayr Coastguard team arrived on scene first and were directed to the inflatable.
As the D class lifeboat approached, members of the Coastguard team had made their way out to the dinghy and were able to assist the dinghy to the shore.
With the inshore lifeboat standing by all five persons were assisted ashore and in the care of the Coastguard teams, so the lifeboats were able to stand down and return to Troon.
At 4.52pm, as the all-weather lifeboat was approaching Troon, the volunteer crew observed a group of paddleboarders that appeared to be in difficulty and were struggling to make it ashore in the easterly breeze. Alerting Belfast Coastguard, the D class inshore lifeboat was tasked and so were the Ayr and Ardrossan Coastguard Rescue Teams.
Once on scene, the inshore lifeboat transferred three paddleboarders to the all-weather lifeboat before returning to assist another three.
Those onboard the lifeboat were returned to the lifeboat station where they were met by the Ayr Coastguard Team. The others were assisted to the shore with their paddleboards where the Ardrossan Coastguard Team were waiting.
With all persons accounted for and no medical attention required, both lifeboats were made ‘ready for service’ with the assistance of the shore crew.
Troon Lifeboat Duty Coxswain Matt Pearce said, ‘Both callouts today were as a result of an offshore breeze which causes a higher risk of getting blown out to sea and will tire you quickly when you are trying to return to shore. Extra care should be taken when the wind is blowing offshore so it’s important to check the weather forecast and tide times before heading out to sea. If you do get into difficulty, or if you see someone who may be in difficulty, 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.