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Islay RNLI in search for missing kayaker off Jura

Lifeboats News Release

On the evening of 24 February 2023 the Islay RNLI volunteer crew were requested to launch by the UK Coastguard to assist in a search for a kayaker reported missing off the north-west coast of the Isle of Jura.

Small orange boat close into shore with one person on board. The are in RNLI kit, yellow drysuit with red life jacket and white helmet

RNLI/Kate Hannett

Islay's Y-class inshore boat

At 6.20pm the Islay RNLI lifeboat, The Helmut Schroder of Dunlossit II, arrived on scene and was tasked by the Coastguard to start a sea and shoreline search several miles south of the last known position of the casualty, working northwards.

Islay RNLI crew were assisted by colleagues of Oban RNLI who had also been tasked to the incident. Additionally, the search operation involved a Coastguard helicopter, Fisheries Protection vessel, CalMac ferry and two vessels serving local fish farms. Several other local boats were also involved. All were able to assist in a multi-vessel search under the command of Islay lifeboat.

All parties were stood down by 12.05am and Islay lifeboat set course for Port Askaig arriving back on station. At 1.15am the lifeboat was secured and ready for service the following morning.

In the morning, Saturday 25 February, Islay RNLI made way back to the search area on Jura’s exposed west coast. On board were Jura, Port Ellen and Port Charlotte volunteer Coastguard rescue teams. On scene and with favourable weather conditions, the RNLI lifeboat’s Y-boat transferred members of the Coastguard search and rescue teams to strategic points on the coastline to undertake an extensive shore search. Meanwhile, RNLI crew members continued in a visual sea and shore search.

The search continued throughout the day. Coastguard teams were picked up by the lifeboat and transported to different locations along the coast to continue the search in daylight until the area was covered. Despite best efforts by all parties nothing was found and at 5.25pm both the lifeboat and Coastguard were stood down and r­eturned to station. The lifeboat was refuelled and ready for service at 6.50pm.

Islay RNLI wish to pass on thanks to all who aided in this multi-agency search, including Police Scotland, Coastguard UK and all vessels who were able to assist.

Craggy, rocky coastline surrounded by the sea with the Islay RNLI lifeboat in the distance, backdrop go big cliffs.


Islay RNLI all-weather lifeboat

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.