‘Take extra care’ plea after lifeboat callouts
TROON’S RNLI lifeboat crew raced to multiple callouts on Thursday – including one involving an inflatable dinghy with people in the water.
The lifesaving boat and crew were requested to launch after reports from a member of the public of an inflatable dinghy that was struggling to get to shore off the coast of Ayr.
A separate incident saw the same crew help a group of paddleboarders in trouble in the water.
A Troon RNLI statement said: “Troon RNLI all-weather and inshore lifeboats were requested to launch after reports from a member of the public of an inflatable dinghy, with people onboard and people in the water, that was struggling to get to shore off the coast at Ayr.
“With Belfast Coastguard activating the lifeboat crew pagers, they also tasked the volunteers of the Ayr and Ardrossan Coastguard Rescue Teams to assist from the shore.
“RNLI Trent class all-weather lifeboat ‘RNLB Jim Moffat’ and D class inshore lifeboat ‘Sheena’ launched and were heading to the scene. As the lifeboats made best speed to the area, Ayr Coastguard team arrived on scene first and were directed to the inflatable.
“As the D class lifeboat approached, members of the Coastguard team had made their way out to the dinghy and were able to assist the dinghy to the shore.
“With the inshore lifeboat standing by, all five persons were assisted ashore and in the care of the Coastguard teams, so the lifeboats were able to stand down and return to Troon. At 4.52pm, as the all-weather lifeboat was approaching Troon, the volunteer crew observed a group of paddleboarders that appeared to be in difficulty and were struggling to make it ashore in the easterly breeze.
“Alerting Belfast Coastguard, the D class inshore lifeboat was tasked and so were the Ayr and Ardrossan coastguard rescue teams. Once on scene, the inshore lifeboat transferred three paddleboarders to the all-weather lifeboat before returning to assist another three. Those onboard the lifeboat were returned to the lifeboat station where they were met by the Ayr Coastguard Team.
“The others were assisted to the shore with the paddleboards where the Ardrossan Coastguard Team were waiting.
“With all persons accounted for and no medical attention required, both lifeboats were made ‘ready for service’ with the assistance of the shore crew.”
Troon lifeboat duty coxswain Matt Pearce said: “Both callouts were as a result of an offshore breeze which causes a higher risk of getting blown out to sea and will tire you quickly when you are trying to return to shore.
“Extra care should be taken when the wind is blowing offshore so it’s important to check the weather forecast and tide times before heading out to sea.”
Anyone who gets into difficulty, or sees someone else in difficulty, should dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.