Three call-outs for lifeboat

Six campers whose boat sank required assistance from the RNLI’s inshore lifeboat based at Kippford.

During a busy spell for the RNLI, volunteers were alerted when six people, who had camped at Whiteport beach, lost their boat.

It was swamped by a heavy swell and sank at 8am on Sunday, August 12, as they were trying to leave and all of them ended up in the water.

They had lost all means of communication when the boat sank and two of them walked for two miles before being able to report the sinking. The other four campers made it ashore at Whiteport.

Kippford’s D class lifeboat Catherine launched at 9.55am and it was on scene nine minutes later. Gareth Jones, Kippford’s lifeboat operations manger (LOM), said: “The casualties were located on shore at Whiteport two minutes later. Apart from being wet and cold, no medical attention was required, so the decision was made to transfer the casualties back to Kippford, leaving one crew member on the beach.”

Coastguard representatives met the campers when the lifeboat brought them ashore and, after the lifeboat had returned to Whiteport to pick up the remaining crew member, the lifeboat was back at Kippford at 10.40am.

The lifeboat launched for a second time that day to rescue a dog that had fallen about 40 feet and was stranded uninjured on a grassy ledge on the cliff close to Gutchers Isle.

The dog had been missing since Saturday evening and, on Sunday afternoon, crew member Stuart Roan asked the LOM if the lifeboat could be launched as an exercise to search for the animal.

The lifeboat was launched at 5pm. The pet could not be seen from the sea but, when two crew went ashore, they found the stranded dog, described as shaking and clearly frightened, and they transferred the dog to the lifeboat, arriving back at the station at 6pm.

The third recent call out for Kippford occurred on August 9 when a yacht spotted five people on the mud between Rockcliffe and Rough Island.

The yacht’s skipper thought the people were in danger of being cut off by the tide and he alerted Liverpool Coastguard.

Kippford lifeboat was launched at 3.32pm, arriving on scene 11 minutes later. A comprehensive search took place in the vicinity of Rough Island and Rockliffe Bay but no-one was found.

There was insufficient water to navigate all around Rough Island and the assumption was made that the people on the mud had probably walked to the nearby shoreline. The lifeboat was back at station at 4pm.