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Thurso RNLI Lifeboat in two and a half hour rescue in horrendous seas

Lifeboats News Release

Thurso RNLI lifeboat The Taylors was launched at 7.05pm on Wednesday 20 September in response to the report of a single crewed, 24ft creel boat in difficulty three miles north of Holborn Head.


The creel boat secured alongside The Taylors going into Scrabster Harbour

The creel boat skipper reported that he was experiencing fuel problems and that the engine kept cutting out. In horrendous conditions and fighting 55mph wind speeds, the lifeboat arrived on scene at 7.30pm. After several attempts in very hazardous conditions a tow line was eventually established. Due to the sea conditions and high swell The Taylors could only safely tow the creel boat back to Scrabster at a speed of 3 knots arriving at the harbour mouth at 9.20pm. The volunteer lifeboat crew then took the creel boat alongside and guided her into the harbour were she was safely tied up. The Taylors was then made ready for service at 9.50pm. This was volunteer crew member Karen Mackenzie's first shout on The Taylors, a one she will remember due to the very challenging sea conditions.

Volunteer RNLI Coxswain Gordon Munro said ‘ This was a particularly demanding rescue due to the sea conditions. We had to take a different approach to try and secure a tow line and after several attempts we thankfully managed to get a line on board. I hate to think what could have happened to a creel boat with no power in that seas’

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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Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.