Portpatrick RNLI Save Two People And A Dog On The First Launch Of New Lifeboat

On Saturday 22 June at 3:49pm, HM Coastguard requested the immediate launch of Portpatrick RNLI lifeboat to reports of kayakers in distress south of the Mull of Galloway.

The station’s Shannon Class lifeboat Stella and Humfrey Berkely immediately launched with a full crew of six and headed towards the Mull of Galloway where they received assistance in their search from Stranraer RNLI, Port William Inshore Rescue Service, HM Coastguards and SAR Helicopter R199. This was the first emergency launch of Stella and Humfrey Berkely since she arrived on station at Portpatrick.

Thanks to the co-ordinated efforts of SAR Helicopter R199, Portpatrick RNLI and a vigilant member of the public at the Mull of Galloway who spotted the kayakers while bird watching and was able to give directions to HM Coastguard, the casualties were located.

Both casualties and their dog were then transferred to Portpatrick lifeboat where they received the necessary care before being taken back to shore and handed over to the coastguard team. The Stella and Humfrey Berkley then returned to Portpatrick where she was refuelled and made ready for service.

A third person and a dog who had also been kayaking with the group had managed to get back to shore safely.

John Connor Portpatrick RNLI volunteer coxswain said:

‘The Mull of Galloway is a particularly challenging area for wind and tidal swells. The conditions yesterday were moderate with a light breeze of force two but when we arrived at the scene the kayakers were already around 2.5 miles away from the shore. Had it not been for the swift actions of a member of the public reporting this incident and the assistance we had in being guided to the casualties, this could have been a very different outcome.
‘I encourage everyone thinking of taking part in any watersports to check the wind and tides before heading out, wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid, and most importantly, carry a means of calling for help that is always easily accessible.’

Jeanette Hardy, volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer at Portpatrick added:

‘The saving of these lives today is absolute testament to the dedication of the volunteer crew here at Portpatrick RNLI and the incredible amount of time and effort that they have put into training and getting the Shannon into service. Without the dedication and hard work of this team, today could well have had an entirely different result. I know I not only speak for myself but the whole of the operational team at Portpatrick and the wider community in saying how incredibly proud we all are of this team.’

It is public support that allows the RNLI to continue to save lives at sea and our volunteers need your support.

To make a donation to the RNLI visit RNLI.org/support-us/give-money/donate

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