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Islay RNLI launch to yacht in distress

Lifeboats News Release

On Thursday 06 July at 5.28pm Islay’s volunteer lifeboat crew were tasked to launch to a Pan-Pan distress call from a yacht in Loch Tarbert, one mile off the west coast of Jura. This was the third call out for the volunteers in one week.

All-weather Severn lifeboat from the back launching in a rainy and windy sea

RNLI/Islay RNLI

Islay RNLI launch in challenging conditions

The 14m yacht with six persons had suffered a jammed head sail and was unable to steady in rough seas and high winds. The alarm was raised by kayakers on the coast who had witnessed the yacht in difficulty and called 999 for The Coastguard. A Pan-Pan is an urgent call for help but where there is no immediate danger to anyone’s life or the vessel itself.

Weather conditions had deteriorated throughout the afternoon and at the time of launching there was a strong south-easterly wind gusting 43mph, low cloud cover and visibility of approximately ¾ mile with heavy rain.

In worsening weather conditions, Islay’s Severn class all-weather lifeboat made way to Loch Tarbert with six crew on board. Two lifeboat crew boarded the yacht to assist in releasing the sail. Islay lifeboat then escorted the yacht, who had engine power, to the nearest safe and suitable port, Port Askaig.

The yacht and lifeboat were moored at Port Askaig and the lifeboat was ready for service again by 8:45pm.

Islay RNLI Press Officer Kate Hannett said: 'This was the third call-out in a single week for our RNLI volunteer crew. Todays shout was in difficult weather but our crew are expertly trained to launch in all conditions. All at Islay RNLI are pleased there was a good result to the call-out and everyone was safe and well.’.

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. When the pagers sound, the crew are always ready to help those in trouble. The RNLI is an independent charity, and we wouldn't be able to launch to those in need without the generous contributions of all our supporters.

If you're heading out to enjoy the water this summer you can find lots of helpful tips and information a rnli.org/safety. From fishing to open water swimming; paddle boarding to coastal walking, there's useful information for even the most seasoned sea-farer.

Yacht in distance in stormy sea

RNLI/Islay RNLI

The 14m yacht has called for urgent help in difficult weather
Lifeboat moored at the pier in Port Askaig, looking at the bow from the pier

RNLI/Islay RNLI

Islay all-weather lifeboat moored back at Port Askaig

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.

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