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Islay RNLI assist yacht aground in the Sound of Islay

Lifeboats News Release

On Monday 03 July at 7.25pm Islay lifeboat was tasked to launch by the Coastguard UK to assess the situation of a yacht aground on a well-known rock reef in the Sound of Islay, Black Rocks.


Islay RNLI crew back at base in Port Askaig

The 10m yacht with three persons on board had run aground as the tide was falling. Islay’s volunteer lifeboat crew made good speed to the casualty vessel in clear conditions with a light westerly breeze.

Due to the extremely shallow and difficult waters around the reef the decision was made to tow the yacht to safety. Two lifeboat crew were deployed in the lifeboat’s smaller daughter craft to transfer the towline. The yacht was secured with the towline and both vessels made way to the nearest safe and suitable port, Port Askaig.

The yacht was moored with assistance from Islay Coastguard and the lifeboat was refuelled and ready for service again by 10:50pm.

Islay RNLI Coxswain David MacLellan said: ‘The yacht crew were right to call for our help especially with the falling tide and in such tricky waters. We’re just pleased all were safe and well and the yacht had suffered no immediate damage.’.

If you find yourself in difficulty, or spot someone else in trouble at sea, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. Here are some top tips from the RNLI about yacht sailing:

  • Always carry a means of calling for help. Consider having an additional method like the SafeTrx app. You can also use this app to plan your voyage, and it can alert the coastguard if you are overdue. You should also register your vessel with the coastguard through this app.
  • Always check the weather forecast and tide times.
  • Be sure to check and study navigation charts of your planned route.
  • Tell someone else where you’re going and when you’ll be back They can raise the alarm with the coastguard by calling 999 or 112 if you are overdue.
  • Ensure your engine is well maintained Always carry enough fuel for your journey, and adequate tools and spares.

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.