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Largs RNLI respond to distress call

Lifeboats News Release

On Thursday 21 September 2023 HM Coastguard requested the lifeboat launch to a distress call from a yacht west of Ardrossan.

RNLI/Andrew Malone

Lifeboat Launch

At around 12:30pm HM Coastguard received a Digital Selective Calling (DSC) alert from a vessel to the west of Ardrossan. This is an automated alert which provides a rapid and accurate way to report a serious issue.

On receiving the DSC alert the Coastguard attempted to make contact with the casualty vessel, which was unsuccessful. At this stage the pagers of the volunteer crew at Largs RNLI were activated. The lifeboat was launched and made best speed to the location of the vessel reporting to be in distress.

Shortly before arriving, HM Coastguard were able to establish communications with the casualty vessel and were advised of an accidental activation of the distress system.

Due to the close proximity of the lifeboat, the crew continued to the vessel and ensured all was well, before returning to the lifeboat station where it was cleaned, refuelled and made ready for service.


Largs lifeboat volunteer helm, Dave Hewitt, said; ‘Today’s incident was an accidental activation, however this shows the effectiveness of this piece of communications equipment. If it is activated in an emergency a co-ordinated effort to aid the vessel is quickly put in place and search and rescue assets mobilised to assist.

‘If you get into difficulty at sea or along the coast, or spot someone else in trouble, always dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.’


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

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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