Overdue Jet ski leads to multi agency search.

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteer RNLI crew at Largs Lifeboat station launched at approximately 6.20pm Thursday 15 June, to assist in searching for an overdue Jet skier.

HMCG/Paul McGill

Largs Inshore Lifeboat approaching the Slipway with the Jet Ski alongside.
Whilst at the Lifeboat station to take part in a planned training exercise a member of the public approached one of the crew members advising that her boyfriend had left Portencross on a jet ski and had intended on meeting her and friends with the jet ski trailer at the slipway next to RNLI Largs Lifeboat station by 6pm.

After getting a description of the jet ski the crewmember went into the boathouse and advised the Lifeboat Operations Manager of what had been discussed and started to search the sea to the south with binoculars in case the jet ski could be seen.

With nothing in view, the Lifeboat Operations Manager advised the crew member to call the UK Coast guard and inform them of the unfolding situation and that the Lifeboat Operations Manager was initiating a crew assemble pager activation to start a search of the area.

After launching the stations Atlantic 85 inshore Lifeboat ‘R A Wilson’ The Helm advised the UK Coastguard that it was his intention to search in a Southerly direction towards Portencross and once there they would return covering both sides of the channel in case the jet ski had broken down and was drifting.

Largs and Ardrossan Coastguard Rescue Teams had also been tasked to perform shoreline searches and as the local Rescue Helicopter was already out training, they were asked to also perform a search of the area.

During the search Largs Coastguard advised they had spotted a jet ski aground on the Brigurd Spit and were approaching to ask if this was the overdue jet skier.

With this information Largs Lifeboat also approached to see if any assistance could be giver from the seaward side, the crew of Largs Lifeboat watched as the jet ski owner waded out to the jet ski and made way to the Lifeboat at a slow speed.

On talking to the casualty, it was found that a rope had been pulled into the drive system of the jet ski and had caused some damage, with this information it was decided that the Lifeboat would take the Jet ski and the owner under tow back to Largs.

On arrival at the Lifeboat Station the jet ski was passed over to the owners’ friends who were waiting with his car and trailer to recover the jet ski.

With all safely ashore the Lifeboat was released from service.

Commenting on this call out Lifeboat Operations Manager John Griffiths said’ This call out shows you should be prepared for all circumstances and should always have a means of communication with either the Coastguard or family and friends. This jet skier was lucky he made it to shore as it was also found they were not wearing an appropriate buoyancy aid or lifejacket; it is advisable to always wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid when partaking in water sports.

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.