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Lifeboats News Release featuring B-718

Loch Ness RNLI launches to stricken yacht

Date: 12/04/2009

Author: Martin Douglas, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer

The stricken yacht 'Rona' (Credit RNLI/Loch Ness)Loch Ness RNLI lifeboat team were called to assist a yacht aground in Urquhart Bay this morning, (Sunday 12 April) at 9.30am.

This was the second time in three days that the skipper of the yacht ‘Rona’ needed the help of the RNLI volunteer team on the loch. After resting and taking stock in Urquhart Harbour for the last two days, the sailor attempted to leave the harbour in his vintage sailing vessel but ran aground approx 50 metres beyond the harbour entrance and within sight of the lifeboat crew who were training with the relief RNLI lifeboat B 718 Rotaract I.

The skipper was towed into open water and given advice about the weather conditions and suitability of the yacht for the planned journey, but the skipper immediately headed out into the loch proper. He is currently in open water but making extremely slow headway.

Neil Hillyard,Volunteer Helm at Loch Ness RNLI says:

‘The yacht is clearly unable to make safe progress in the current conditions and  appropriate advice has been given to 'PJ' but he has made the decision to continue towards Fort Augustus. We urge people to plan their journeys on the loch as they would for any open sea areas.’

During yesterdays rescue of the two canoeists, the Loch Ness RNLI lifeboat Mercurius was damaged, needing repairs to be undertaken at the Inshore Lifeboat Centre in Cowes, Isle of Wight. A replacement boat from the Relief Fleet arrived overnight and was immediately readied for service. The RNLI have a full range of approximately 100 relief boats of all classes available for immediate deployment throughout the UK and ROI. None of the Loch Ness crew were injured in yesterdays rescue but conditions on the loch continue to be extremely challenging.

Weather conditions on Loch Ness can change rapidly and be as bad as open sea areas. The RNLI have an extensive sea and beach safety section on their website offering preventative advice:

www.rnli.org.uk/what_we_do/sea_and_beach_safety/sea_and_beach_safety  

Link to the RNLI page