Busy period for local lifeboats

Elaine meets the Portpatrick RNLI Lifeboat crew
Elaine meets the Portpatrick RNLI Lifeboat crew

Portpatrick RNLI Lifeboat Station experienced an eventful few days last week with two rescues and a celebrity visit.

On Thursday evening celebrity actress Elaine C Smith visited the RNLI volunteers lifeboat crew whilst filming a programme on the area to be shown on television by STV.

The actress spent time chatting with crew members and was the given a guided tour of the lifeboat RNLB John Buchanan Barr. Elaine showed a keen interest in the lifeboat and crew, asking volunteers what their occupations were and enquiring about the person the craft was named after. She was also amazed by the level of technology employed in the design and build of the lifeboat.

After posing for photos with the crew and thanking them for their hard work and dedication, Elaine left to continue her filming of the Portpatrick area.

On Friday evening at approximately 6pm the RNLB John Buchanan Barr was launched to rescue a vessel with two persons on board which was lost and had engine failure south of the Mull of Galloway. The search for the vessel was hindered by the fact that is VHF radio was unable to transmit and the mobile phone on board had a low battery. After conducting an extensive search, the Portpatrick RNLI Lifeboat was stood down as the lost vessel had been located by a lifeboat from Peel on the Isle of Man. The John Buchanan Barr returned to Portpatrick harbour arriving on station at 7.45pm.

On Sunday afternoon the volunteer crew launched the Portpatrick lifeboat again to rescue a sea kayak with one person on board which was drifting in strong currents near to the Mull of Galloway. The owner of the kayak was exhausted having tried to paddle against the current and had become seasick and dehydrated. On reaching the vessel the RNLI crew took the owner on board the lifeboat and administered water an oxygen. He was then taken to Portpatrick lifeboat station where he was examined by a local GP.

PIRSAC, the independent rescue boat run by a volunteers crew in Port William have also had a busy time recently. Last Friday, they were called out to assist Portpatrick Lifeboat in the same rescue. Also involved were Drummore and Isle of Whithorn coastguards the Peel lifeboat from the Isle of Man. A helicopter was also deployed. After being given a position for the vessel in distress, a lobster fishing boat names ‘Mollie’, off the Mull of Galloway, PIRSAC continued an extensive search for three hours before the boat was located close to the Isle of Man. The following day they were called out again after a the propellor of a fishing boat with two people on board failed. The PIRSAC crew found the boat was being assisted back to harbour by another fishing boat.

Three weeks ago, PIRSAC also rescued a yacht that lost power and was drifting near to Burrowhead with one person on board. The yacht was towed to Port William harbour by the rescue craft.