Clyde Coastguard paged the station Lifeboat Launching Authority at 14:21 hrs to advise that there was a vessel adrift in the River Clyde channel at Newark Castle. It was thought that the ‘True Blue’ was out of fuel. As no other vessels were in the vicinity and able to assist, Clyde Coastguard asked if Helensburgh Lifeboat could launch and assist. The Lifeboat Operations Manager agreed to the request and paged the crew. Once launched the lifeboat proceeded to the scene where they located the casualty adrift in mid-channel. After investigating, it appeared that the vessel, a converted ship’s lifeboat, had fuel problems and also flat batteries, thus preventing the crew from using the VHF radio etc. The vessel had been on passage from Millport to Dumbarton when the problems occured. The lifeboat towed the ‘True Blue’ to Sandpoint Marina in Dumbarton, and once secured, returned to rescue base, reporting ready for service again at 17:40 hrs.
(This shout was confirmed to be a hoax). A ‘Launch ILB’ signal was sent out at 21:56 hrs after a distress call was transmitted on channel 16 by (purportedly) the Clyde Marine vessel ‘Rover’, advising that they were taking in water and were located in the vicinity of Dumbarton Rock. The crew assembled and the lifeboat launched at 22:03 hrs. At 22:21 hrs, a further call from the ‘casualty’ reported that they were “sinking fast”. Shortly after launch however, the Coastguard suggested that there was a possibility that this was a hoax call as an erroneous Lat and Long position had been given by the ‘casualty’. Between 22:39 hrs and 23:21 hrs, a thorough search of the area, between Dumbarton Rock and the Erskine Bridge, in addition to the River Leven up to the old Road Bridge, was conducted by the lifeboat and a Sea King from HMS Gannett. Nothing untoward was sighted and the search discontinued at 23:21 hrs. While the search was going on, the station Lifeboat Operations Manager established from Clyde Coastguard that the Clyde Marine vessel ‘Rover’ was in Largs at the time and in no difficulty. This confirmed that it was a hoax call. The lifeboat returned to base and reported ready for service again at 23:58 hrs.
Clyde Coastguard paged the station Lifeboat Operations Manager at 18:00 hrs to advise that there was a two-vessel tow adrift off the Container Terminal (Greenock). One was reported to be a Cabin Cruiser, the other a ‘Viking’ type boat. Both vessels were estimated to be about 30’ in length. The Lifeboat Operations Manager agreed to investigate and paged the crew. The Coastguard advised that the first informant had apparently been in the water briefly, however had changed his clothes immediately and was none the worse of his immersion. After launching at 18:22 hrs, the lifeboat proceeded to the locus where the two vessels were located. The Cabin Cruiser had apparently towed the ‘Viking’ boat down river from Glasgow earlier in the day, and on the return journey had experienced engine failure (suspect fuel contamination). The ‘Viking’ vessel was described by its’ owner as a ‘Scottish Birlinn’ (sail and oar powered). When the lifeboat arrived on scene, the Viking boat was attempting to tow the Cabin Cruiser (somewhat unsuccessfully) under sail. It was agreed that the two casualty vessels would be towed to nearby Victoria Harbour until repairs could be effected. The Cabin Cruiser was temporarily left at anchor while the lifeboat towed the intrepid Viking vessel to Victoria Harbour. When secured in the harbour, the lifeboat returned for the Cabin Cruiser, which was also towed to the Victoria Harbour. Once all details had been obtained, the lifeboat returned to base and reported ready for service again at 20:10 hrs. The Vikings were reminded that pillaging and looting were now considered to be illegal acts.
Clyde Coastguard paged the station Lifeboat Operations Manager at 00:10 hrs after being contacted by the crew of a 17’ Dory that was adrift near the Ashton Buoy. As no other vessels were in the vicinity, Clyde Coastguard asked if we could assist. The Lifeboat Operations Manager agreed, paged the crew, and the lifeboat was launched at 00:25 hrs. Shortly after launching, the crew of the casualty vessel passed their Lat and Long position to Clyde Coastguard via mobile phone (no VHF). This information was relayed to the lifeboat at 00:30 hrs who reported that they were alongside some 10 minutes later. The casualty vessel was a 17’ dory (as reported) with 3 persons on board. They had apparently fouled their prop on a plastic bag, resulting in engine failure (lifeboat crew description – “The engine was gubbed.”). Although they were only displaying a single white navigation light, they were using a diver’s strobe light to attract attention. As one of their crew had a portable GPS, they had been able to specify their position to Clyde Coastguard. Although the nearest ‘safe haven’ would have been Cardwell Bay, it was agreed after a Lifeboat Operations Manager/Coastguard discussion, that the lifeboat would tow the casualty back to the Hunter’s Quay; their original point of origin had been the Holy Loch Marina. At 01:32 hrs, the lifeboat reported that the casualty vessel was secure on a mooring at Hunter’s Quay and the crew landed safely on shore. A Coastguard Auxiliary Unit was on-scene. The lifeboat then returned to base and reported ready for service again at 02:12 hrs.
Clyde Coastguard contacted the Lifeboat Operations Manager at 19:44 hrs to determine if Helensburgh Lifeboat could go to the assistance a grounded yacht at the mouth of the River Leven. Although there was no chance of re-floating the yacht at that time due to the state of the tide (almost low water), the Coastguard wanted to determine if the 2 persons on board were OK. Coastguard Auxiliary Units had been tasked to attend the incident. The Lifeboat Operations Manager agreed to the request and paged the lifeboat crew. After launching at 19:55 hrs, the lifeboat proceeded to the locus where they found a 25’ yacht, the ‘Dusky Lady’ hard aground on the East side of the River Leven as reported. The yacht had no inboard engine and only a 4HP outboard which was deemed to be inadequate. In addition, they had no means of communication as they had had a power failure on the boat with the result that their VHF set was inoperative. The battery in their mobile phone was also flat! Although the ‘Dusky Lady’ could not be re-floated at that time, it was agreed that the lifeboat would tie alongside at Sandpoint Marina until the tide was such as to allow the casualty to be re-floated. With the forecast of a freshening wind from the North, there was concerned that once re-floated, the casualty would be unable to reach navigable water again without additional assistance. To provide a means of communicating with the ‘Dusky Lady’, one of the Coastguard Auxiliary personnel waded out to the casualty vessel and remained on board with the 2 occupants until it re-floated at about 22:45 hrs. At this time, it was towed into Sandpoint Marina, where it was to be laid-up for the winter. Thereafter the lifeboat returned to Rescue Base and reported ready for service again at 00:07 hrs.
The crew was paged at 11:11hrs after Clyde Coastguard received information that a Glasgow bound aircraft, with 180 persons on board, had put out a Mayday. ILB launch was requested in case the aircraft had to ditch in the River Clyde. Shortly after launch however the IB was asked to return to base as the aircraft had landed safely at Glasgow Airport. The lifeboat was reported ready for service again at 12:00hrs.
Clyde Coastguard sent out a ‘Coastguard Launch Request’ signal at 13:41 hrs after receiving a report from the day boat ‘More Than You’ that they were on fire at the mouth of the Gareloch. The lifeboat crew was asked to go to ‘Immediate Readiness’ at this time. At 13:46 hrs, Clyde Coastguard contacted the boathouse and asked the lifeboat to launch. Shortly after the lifeboat had launched, the crew of ‘More Than You’ telephoned the boathouse directly to report that they were located at the mouth of Loch Long and not the Gareloch, also reporting that the fire had “damped down by itself “. They were reluctant to remove any covers or take any further action until help had arrived. Although contact with ‘More Than You’ was lost at this point, the lifeboat reported that they were alongside the casualty at 13:56 hrs. Although there was no evidence of a fire, smoke had reportedly been coming out from under the dashboard and from the sides of the vessel (suspect electrical problems). None of the crew required medical attention and the ‘More Than You’ was towed back to Rhu Marina by the lifeboat without incident. The lifeboat reported ready for service again at 14:54 hrs.
A Launch Request signal was sent out by Clyde Coastguard at 22:35 hrs after a report was received from a member of the public that 2 boys were adrift in a dinghy in Stroul Bay. Apparently the dinghy was without lights and neither of the boys was thought to be wearing a life jacket. The Lifeboat Operations Manager paged the crew and the lifeboat launched at 22:45 hrs. Shortly after launch, Clyde Coastguard provided further information, namely that the dinghy was 7 to 8 ft in length with a white hull, had initially been paddled out from Silver’s yard and was thought to be heading for Garelochead; an MoD RiB and Kilcreggan Coastguard were also on-scene. Once at the locus, the lifeboat commenced a search of the West side of the Gareloch from Stroul Bay towards Clynder. At 22:58 hrs, Clyde Coastguard advised that there was a possibility that there were 3 youths on the dinghy and not 2 as was originally thought; this information had been obtained by the MoD RiB crew who had gone ashore to investigate the circumstances further. Immediately following this transmission, the Kilcreggan Auxiliary Coastguard advised the lifeboat that there was a white dinghy tied up to a white hulled sloop on one of the moorings in Stroul Bay and asked them to investigate. After going alongside the sloop, the lifeboat crew reported that there were 2 girls and 1 boy hiding on it - confirming that they were the ‘wanted persons’. They were thought to be about 14 years of age. The ‘miscreants’ and the dinghy were taken ashore by the lifeboat and handed over to the Police at Silver’s landing stage. After recovering the dinghy’s paddles, the lifeboat returned to base and reported ready for service again at 23:34 hrs.
While out supporting the annual Clyde Charity Swim (Kilcreggan to Gourock),at 17:41 hrs, the lifeboat was contacted by Clyde Coastguard and asked if they could proceed to the Suspension Bridge (Glasgow) where there was a female reported to be in the water. The lifeboat agreed to the request. At 17:51 hrs, while en route, the lifeboat was again contacted by Clyde Coastguard and asked to stand down as Fire and Rescue were now on scene and handling the incident. The lifeboat returned to support the swim.
At 09.09hrs, Clyde Coastguard paged a LAUNCH ILB signal after receiving a report from a member of the public that there was a person in the water at Garelochead. The station Lifeboat Operations Manager received this information while en-route to the boatshed from one of the Coastguard Auxiliary Units who was proceeding to the incident. After assembling, the crew launched at 09:14 hrs however shortly after launching, the lifeboat crew was asked to return to base as the ‘person in the water’ was apparently a seal (who required no assistance)! This was simply a false alarm with good intent.
At 14:02 hrs on Monday 28th July, Clyde Coastguard paged a ‘Launch Request’ signal after receiving a report that there was a yacht aground on the ‘Tail of the Bank’. The crew of the yacht had contacted Clyde Coastguard by mobile phone. The station Deputy Launching Authority contacted the Coastguard to determine the nature of the incident and agreed to launch; the crew was duly paged and the lifeboat launched at 14:09 hrs. After proceeding to the locus, the lifeboat crew located the casualty vessel ‘CARA’ aground on the ‘Tail of the Bank’ – they had simply gone aground after leaving the channel. It was agreed that the lifeboat would stand by until the CARA started to float again on the rising tide; this they did and at 15:14 hrs, the lifeboat reported that they had towed the CARA off the sand bank and were following her back into safe water. The lifeboat then returned to station and reported ready for service again at 01:24 hrs.
Clyde Coastguard paged a ‘Launch ILB’ signal at 05:22 hrs after receiving a report that there was a man drifting in an 18’ boat somewhere between Ardmore Point and Port Glasgow. Apparently he had been out fishing in his day boat and had come across a similar vessel, adrift in the area between Ardmore and Port Glasgow. He had gone alongside and tied up to the drifting vessel, however while aboard investigating, the securing line had come undone and he drifted off himself in the casualty vessel - which had no fuel! The man adrift then phoned his brother who subsequently phoned the Coastguard. The lifeboat was launched 05:35 hrs, and after some delay, managed to locate the casualty. As the casualty only had a mobile phone and was uncertain of his exact location, Clyde Coastguard put him on a link call with the lifeboat. He was located at 06:01 hrs and returned to his own vessel, none the worse of his adventure. The lifeboat towed the casualty vessel back to Rhu Marina where efforts continue to locate the owner. It was clear that the boat had broken free from it’s mooring as the Mooring Buoy, Pick-up and some Anchor Chain were still attached. The lifeboat reported ready for service again at 07:08 hrs.
The Deputy Launching Authority was contacted at 02:32 hrs by Clyde Coastguard after receiving a report that a man was missing, possibly in the water. The man was from Cardross and had been dropped off by a taxi at Ardoch in the early hours of the morning. He had reputedly told the taxi driver that he was going to kill himself. The taxi driver knew the man’s name. After some delay, the taxi driver reported this information to the Police, who in turn alerted the Coastguard. After launching at 02:45hrs, the lifeboat proceeded to the locus where they conducted a thorough shore line search from Ardmore Point to Dumbarton Rock with nothing found. At 04:17 hrs, the lifeboat was asked to Return to Station as the missing man had been found at home - safe and well!! The lifeboat was back on station again at 05:15 hrs.
Clyde Coastguard paged sequential ‘Launch ILB’ and ‘Launch Request Coastguard’ signals after receiving a report that there were two persons in the water shouting for help in Cardwell Bay. After assembling, the crew launched the lifeboat at 09:42 hrs and proceeded to the locus where they found that one of the casualties had swum to shore; the other, who had been clinging to the hull of the upturned dinghy, had just been recovered by a sea boat from a Minesweeper that had been exercising in the area. As he required medical attention, he was taken by ambulance to Inverclyde Hospital. The casualty who had swum ashore refused medical attention. After recovering the dinghy and beaching it, the lifeboat returned to base, reporting ready for service again at 10:32 hrs.
The crew was paged at 17:53 hrs after Clyde Coastguard advised that there was a 32’ yacht aground at the mouth of the River Leven; 4 persons were reported to be on board. The lifeboat was launched at 18:02hrs, arriving on scene at 18:22hrs. When a couple of minutes from the locus however, the Helensburgh Coastguard Mobile reported that a RIB had come out of the River Leven to assist and had managed to re-float the casualty vessel, the ‘Amber Sky’. This turned out to be the case, and after confirming that all was well, the lifeboat returned to base.
Clyde MRCC contacted the station Lifeboat Operations Manager after the owner of a vessel in the vicinity of Rosneath Caravan Park had put out a MAYDAY call. The crew was paged and the lifeboat launched at 12:27 hrs. The casualty vessel was located in the Caravan Park moorings with its prop shaft firmly wrapped around a mooring chain. As neither the crews of the casualty vessel or the lifeboat could free the mooring, a diver was brought out from Rhu Marina. This was considered to be a prudent action considering that the tide was just past low water; if the vessel was not freed fairly promptly, the likelihood was that it would sink at some point during the flood. After the mooring was freed, and the casualty vessel confirmed to be seaworthy, it proceeded on his merry way again and lifeboat returned to base, reporting ready for service again at 13:45 hrs.
At 18:11 hrs, Clyde MRCC paged the station Launching Authorities to request lifeboat assistance as a small power boat was aground on the Cockle Bank. Although another vessel in the vicinity had provided some information as to the location of the casualty vessel, Clyde MRCC wished to determine the status of the crew. The Lifeboat Operations Manager agreed to launch and the crew was duly paged. After launching, the lifeboat proceeded to the locus where they located the casualty vessel several hundred metres out of the navigable channel, high and dry on a sand bank. As ‘More Than You’s’ only form of communication was mobile phone, the lifeboat crew was unable to establish direct contact, therefore Clyde Coastguard managed to contact them by phone and establish that they were not taking in water. The lifeboat Helm had previously stated that it would be unwise to send an lifeboat crew member over to the casualty vessel as he would have had to wade several hundred metres over a mud-bank on a rising tide. That being the case, the lifeboat returned to station with the intention of returning later in the evening, however this proved to be unnecessary as the ’More Than You’ re-floated at about 19:45 hrs, thereafter continuing on its adventure back to Rhu Marina.
Clyde Coastguard paged the Lifeboat Operations Manager at 16:58 hrs to advise that they had been contacted by the crew of the yacht ‘KANDU’ who reported that they were aground somewhere “between the Sugar Ship (wreck) and the Funfair” (i.e. on the ‘Tail of the Bank’). The Lifeboat Operations Manager agreed to assist and the crew was paged (an ‘Immediate Readiness’). After launching at 17:07 hrs, the lifeboat proceeded to the locus where they located the casualty aground on the ‘Tail of the Bank’. There was a slight delay in locating the casualty as the crew were unable to describe where they actually were, compounded by the fact that their only form of communication was via mobile phone. After re-floating the ‘KANDU’, the lifeboat towed the casualty back into deeper water where they were quite happy to proceed on their own under sail back to Rhu Marina. The lifeboat returned to base and reported ready for service again at 18:07 hrs.
The Launching Authorities were paged at 08:43 hrs by Clyde MRCC to request lifeboat assistance in re-floating a 33’ yacht which had gone aground at the mouth of the River Leven. It was agreed that the lifeboat would assist and the crew was paged. As reported, the casualty, a 33’ yacht, was found to be aground on the West side of the entrance to the River Leven. While exiting the Leven, the yacht had been caught by the tide and had gone aground. It also has to be noted that the River Leven channel is not buoyed at this point, making it difficult for anyone not totally familiar with the river. Despite the falling tide, the lifeboat managed to re-float the yacht, the ‘Quick Silver’, without damage, and escorted it into the River Clyde channel. Helensburgh Lifeboat then returned to station, and reported ready for service again at 10:20 hrs.
Clyde MRCC paged the station Launching Authority at 13:37hrs to advise that there was a rubber dinghy adrift off Maitland Street, Helensburgh; the crew appeared to require assistance. Although they had an outboard engine, the people on board were rowing. The Deputy Launching Authority agreed to launch and the crew was paged. After mustering, the lifeboat was launched at 13:49 hrs, thereafter proceeding to the locus where they located the casualty as reported. They found the rubber dinghy with two teenagers aboard who were attempting to row back to Rosneath Caravan Park as their outboard had failed. As it would have taken the pair about three days to row there, the lifeboat therefore took the two casualties and their dinghy back to the Caravan Park and then returned to station, making the boat ready for service again by 14:25 hrs.
Clyde MRCC contacted the Lifeboat Operations Manager at 19:26 hrs to advise that there was a female in the water between Glasgow Bridge and the Suspension Bridge, Glasgow. Lifeboat launch was requested to assist Fire and Rescue who had also been called. The Lifeboat Operations Manager agreed to the request and paged the crew. Shortly after launching however, the lifeboat was asked to return to station as the female had been rescued. The lifeboat was on station again and ready for service at 20:18 hrs.
The lifeboat launched at 20:58 hrs after multiple sightings of a distress flare had been reported somewhere between Newark Castle and Dumbarton. Although a flare had clearly been fired in the vicinity of Langbank, after a thorough search of the area with nothing untoward sighted, the search was called off at 21:55 hrs after which time the lifeboat returned to station. During the search a number of white Illumination Flares were fired by the lifeboat.
At 20:33hrs, Clyde MRCC phoned the station Lifeboat Operations Manager to advise that a military style lifejacket had been found by a member of the public at Craigendoran Pier with its light illuminated. Clyde Coastguard advised that the Helensburgh Coastguard Mobile Team had been tasked with conducting a shore search between Helensburgh Pier and Ardmore Point. The Lifeboat Operations Manager was asked if he was prepared to launch the lifeboat to assist in the search. This was agreed and the crew was paged. After launching, the lifeboat proceeded to the locus and conducted a shore-line search from Helensburgh Pier to Craigendoran Pier and then on to Ardmore Point. At 21:33 hrs however, Clyde MRCC phoned the boathouse and advised that the Navy had confirmed that the lifejacket had come from a Submarine which had gone down the firth during the afternoon; consequently the search was called off and the lifeboat returned to station at 21:44 hrs.
The station Launching Authority was paged at 18:17 hrs after a Coastal Freighter had gone aground on the south side of the River Clyde opposite Dumbarton Rock. The ‘Minerva’ (1,991 tonnes) was holed with a 2.5 deg list to port and was reported to have 8 persons on board. The lifeboat crew was put on Immediate Readiness from 18:21 hrs until 18:50 hrs at which time Clyde Coastguard requested launch to standby while the Minerva was re-floated with the assistance of tugs. At 19:25 hrs it was confirmed that a tow line had been secured to the vessel with the intention that it be towed to the West Ocean Terminal, Greenock. Towing the vessel was a slow process as it appeared to have steering problems, however the tug had it alongside at Greenock at 21:30 hrs at which time the lifeboat returned to station.
Clyde MRCC contacted the Lifeboat Operations Manager at 20:54 hrs to advise that there was a man in the water at Bell’s Bridge, Glasgow, on the south side of the River Clyde. Lifeboat launch was requested. The Lifeboat Operations Manager agreed to the request and paged the crew. Shortly after launching however, the lifeboat was asked to stand down as the person had been rescued and was being treated by an ambulance crew. The lifeboat was on station again and ready for service at 21:34 hrs.
Following a discussion with the Coastguard, the crew was paged at 17:03 hrs to go to the assistance of a beached motor yacht, the ‘Seven Seas’, as one of its crew was reported to be suffering from the effects of angina. After launching at 17:10 hrs, the lifeboat set course for Bowling, where the motor yacht was reported to be aground. When the lifeboat was passing Newark Castle however, it was asked to stand down as the casualty had apparently recovered. Information received from the coastguard was that the vessel had been towed off by a tug and was being escorted up river to the Rothesay Dock. That being the case, the lifeboat returned to station and was reported ready for service again at 18:00 hrs.
Clyde Coastguard paged the Lifeboat Operations Manager after numerous reports of red and orange flare sightings were reported from members of the public in the Greenock area. Sightings were reported to be in the Rosneath direction. After the crew assembled, the lifeboat launched at 02:08 hrs and proceeded towards the Greenock esplanade with no evidence of any vessels in the area. At this time, Clyde Port Estuary reported that they could see lights towards the de-gaussing range in line with Culwatty Bay where there were normally none. After a further radio conversation with Estuary Radio, the lifeboat identified the lights and once in the area established that they appeared to be on the shore line in Culwatty Bay. As it was nearly Low Water, and with the lifeboat 100 yards off shore, one crew member was despatched to investigate the source of the lights however once the lifeboat’s Flashing Blue light was switched on, the lights on the shore were extinguished and two persons were seen to ‘disappear into the night’. Once this was reported to Clyde Coastguard, the lifeboat conducted a further search towards the Greenock Esplanade and then up to Victoria harbour, and with nothing sighted, returned to base. It was agreed that the pyrotechnic sightings were genuine and had been fired from the Rosneath shore.