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Largs RNLI join search for overdue boat

Lifeboats News Release

Largs RNLI were tasked to join an overnight search for a 28-foot sailing boat.

Launch of the lifeboat

RNLI/Brian Rankin

Launch of the lifeboat

Just before 3am in the early hours of Monday 29 May 2023, the pagers of the volunteer crew sounded as they were requested to assemble at the lifeboat station.

HM Coastguard requested the launch of the Atlantic 85 lifeboat R.A. Wilson to join the search for an overdue 28-foot sailing boat with two people onboard.

The sailing boat left Ardglass in Northern Ireland on Saturday 27 May bound for Rhu Marina in Helensburgh. They were expected to reach their destination on Sunday afternoon, however no contact had been made with the boat since its departure from Ardglass.

The volunteer crew at Largs RNLI launched the lifeboat and began a search around the Cumbrae Islands which was being coordinated by Belfast Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, with other search and rescue assets including Helensburgh RNLI lifeboat and the Coastguard Rescue Helicopter based at Prestwick Airport.

Following the search around the Cumbrae Islands, Largs RNLI were tasked with further search areas and during this search, the volunteer crew located the missing boat at anchor in the North side of Kilchattan Bay on the Isle of Bute, shortly before sunrise.

The lifeboat crew spoke with the two people onboard the sailing boat and established they were safe and well. Their mobile phones had both run out of battery and they had switched their VHF radio off when they went to bed.

Largs lifeboat then returned to the lifeboat station at 5:15am where it was cleaned, refuelled and made ready for service.

Angus Fergusson, Largs RNLI volunteer helm said; ‘It is important to inform someone of your intended passage. This could be done by simply telling a friend, using RYA SafeTrx or by informing the Coastguard.

‘It is also important to ensure you have a method of communication and know how it works. This could be a VHF marine radio or a fully charged mobile phone. In a coastal emergency you should always dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard or contact the Coastguard on VHF Marine Channel 16 when at sea.’

Notes to editors

RNLI media contacts

Claire McRae, Lifeboat Press Officer, 07738681546, [email protected]

Brian Rankin, Lifeboat Press Officer, 07810862468, [email protected]

Natasha Bennett, RNLI Regional Media Officer for Scotland, 07826 900639, [email protected]

Martin Macnamara, RNLI Regional Media Manager for Scotland, 07920 365929, [email protected]

RNLI Press Office, 01202 336789

Largs lifeboat with casualty vessel

RNLI/Brian Rankin

Largs lifeboat

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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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