Five rescued near Ailsa Craig

The rescue helicopter lands in McCreath Park
The rescue helicopter lands in McCreath Park

At around 7pm on Saturday 6 August, Girvan Lifeboat’s volunteer crew’s pagers were activated by Belfast Coastguard.

The call out was in response to a 999 call to a 16ft vessel with five persons on board that had lost propulsion and was taking on water near Ailsa Craig, in worsening sea conditions.

This was the first shout for Girvan’s relief all-weather lifeboat 12-27 - Pride and Spirit and within seven minutes the lifeboat and volunteer crew were making best speed towards the last reported position.

Also tasked to the incident were Campbeltown lifeboat and Coastguard Rescue Helicopter 999.

CG999 helicopter arrived moments prior to Girvan Lifeboat just as the vessel sank, and as Girvan lifeboat came upon the scene the final casualty was winched from the water.

The casualties were checked over by on board paramedics on the way back to Girvan, despite being wet and cold they appeared healthy and in good spirits, and did not require further medical attention.

Girvan all-weather lifeboat remained on scene to retrieve the floating debris from the sunken boat before making its way back to Girvan.

The Coastguard helicopter landed at McCreath Park where it was met by Girvan coastguard rescue team and Police Scotland, the casualties were then taken to the Coastguard station before returning home.

Girvan Lifeboat arrived back in Girvan at 20:15 where it was refuelled and made ready for service.

Although the vessel was lost, five lives were saved in this instance, another few minutes and it could have been a very different outcome.

More information about sea safety can be located at the RNLI’S ‪#‎Respectthewater‬ website

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 over 230 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and has more than 100 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK. 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 137,000 lives. The RNLI is a charity registered in England, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland.