Photo courtesy of Mr Ian Fraser
Casualty being landed at Dunoon (February 2009)

2009 Service Calls

'Irresponsible' is not the word! (09/40 - Thursday 31st December, 2009 at 18:55 hrs)

Clyde Coastguard paged a Launch Request at 18:45 hrs after a member of the public in Dunoon reported seeing a man in a wet suit enter the water, and then swim out towards the centre of the River Clyde. The ILB crew was paged and the boat launched at 18:55 hrs. After arriving on scene, the ILB crew proceeded to conduct a search, from Dunoon Pier, out towards the centre of the river. At 19:34 hrs, Clyde Coastguard advised the ILB crew that they had just taken a 999 call where the caller had advised that the man in the water was actually swimming unaccompanied, and in darkness, across the river from Dunoon to Cloch Point on the Gourock side! This new information enabled the crew to refine their search pattern. Before being able to complete it however, all teams involved in the search were asked to stand down as the ‘casualty’ had arrived on the Gourock side of the river and had phoned to say that he was OK. The ILB therefore returned to base, and after refuelling, reported ready for service again at 20:36 hrs.

Incident at Erskine Bridge (09/39 - Wednesday 30th December, 2009 at 03:22 hrs)

Information withheld

Report of Man in Water at Helensburgh Pier (Wednesday 30th December, 2009)

This launch was cancelled shortly after the crew had been paged (01:36 hrs) as Clyde Coastguard reported that the incident had been resolved.

Incident at Erskine Bridge (09/38 - Tuesday 22nd December, 2009 at 23:31 hrs)

The ILB was launched at 23:31 hrs in sub-zero temperatures to attend an incident at Erskine Bridge however the crew were asked to return to base before reaching the bridge as a report was received that the incident had been resolved. Detailed information withheld.

ILB attends Road Traffic Accident!!! (09/37 - Thursday 10th December, 2009 at 22:03hrs)

The ILB was launched at 22:03 hrs after the Lifeboat Operations Manager was advised that there was a car in the water approximately 1 mile North of Cloch Point. Once on scene, the ILB crew established that there had been a road traffic accident on the coast road, as a result of which, one of the cars had gone off the road and down an embankment onto the beach. Initially it was thought that the car was in the water, however this proved not to be case. After checking that there were no persons in the water, and with all car passengers accounted for, the ILB returned to base and reported ready for service again at 23:03 hrs.

Incident at Erskine Bridge (09/36 - Friday 27th November, 2009 at 14:16hrs)

Information withheld

Incident at Erskine Bridge (09/35 - Friday 13th November, 2009 at 22:50hrs)

Information withheld

Incident at Erskine Bridge (09/34 - Saturday 17th October, 2009 at 15:59hrs)

Information withheld

Incident at Erskine Bridge (09/33 - Friday 16th October, 2009 at 17:37hrs)

Information withheld

Man in River at Crowne Plaza Hotel (Friday 16th October, 2009)

This launch was cancelled shortly after the crew had been paged (01:14 hrs). Clyde Coastguard reported that the incident had been resolved.

Incident at Erskine Bridge (09/32 - Sunday 4th October, 2009 at 20:59hrs)

Information withheld

Yacht Aground (09/31 - Friday 4th September, 2009 )

Clyde Coastguard paged a Launch Request after receiving a call for assistance from a yacht that had gone aground at the mouth of the River Leven. The crew was paged and the ILB launched at 18:00 hrs. Once on scene, the ILB located the 22’ yacht, ‘Miranda’, hard aground 100 metres due East of the Cardinal Buoy. As the tide was still on the ebb, the ILB crew layed out the yacht’s anchor such that wind and tide did not take the yacht further onto the sand bank during the flood. Although the male casualty was happy to remain with the yacht until she re-floated, the female casualty wished to be taken ashore; that being the case, she was transferred to the ILB and then landed at Sand Point Marina. After ensuring that Miranda’s owner was ok, the ILB returned to base, reporting ready for service again at 19:55 hrs. ’Miranda’ re-floated again without incident at 21:07 hrs and with the assistance of the Helensburgh Coastguard Team, made her way safely into Sand Point Marina.

Incident at Custom House Quay (09/30 - Sunday 30th August, 2009 )

Information withheld

Missing Windsurfer (09/29 - Sunday 23rd August, 2009 )

The crew was paged at 16:50 hrs after Clyde Coastguard received a report from a member of the public in Dunoon, that a Windsurfer’s Board and Sail had been washed up on the beach at West Bay; there was no sign of the Surfer. Once afloat, the ILB proceed to the area to commence a search for the missing surfer, however before being able to do so, Navy Helicopter ‘Rescue 177’ spotted a surfer on the Gourock side of the river and the ILB crew was asked to intercept him to determine if he had seen the missing surfer or had any relevant information. After doing so, it transpired that this individual had been surfing between Gourock and Dunoon and had beached his board on the West Bay for about 20 minutes, during which time it had been mistaken for one washed ashore. As this solved the mystery of the missing surfer, Navy 177 and Helensburgh ILB were asked to return to base. After refuelling, the ILB reported ready for service again at 18:15 hrs – just in time for tea!

Capsized Dinghy? (09/28 - Sunday 16th August, 2009 )

While out on a shout to a yacht with a fouled prop near Knockderry Castle, Clyde Coastguard radioed the ILB to advise that they had received a 999 call from a member of the public at McInroy’s Point, reporting that there was a capsized yacht about 1 mile off shore. The ILB crew agreed to assist and proceeded towards the reported locus. As the information supplied was somewhat inexplicit, Greenock Mobile was dispatched to the home of the 1st informant to gain more detail. Having done so, Greenock Mobile advised the ILB crew that the yacht had capsized well into the mouth of the Holy Loch and not off the Greenock shore as reported. After searching the mouth of the Holy Loch with nothing sighted, and with the skipper of the Sound of Shuna car ferry also reporting that he had seen nothing untoward, it was agreed that the crew of the dinghy had managed to right it themselves and the ILB therefore returned to base, reporting ready for service again at 14:28 hrs.

Fouled Prop (09/27 - Sunday 16th August, 2009 )

In gusty conditions, the ILB launched at 12:11 hrs to go to the assistance of a yacht after she had fouled her prop on a mooring buoy off the Knockderry Hotel at Cove. As the yacht's prop was well and truly fouled and could not be freed, the ILB manoeuvered the yacht head to wind and re-positioned her anchor. At 13:20 hrs, the ILB crew advised Clyde Coastguard that the vessel was now secure under her own anchor and that a Diver had been called by the owner of the yacht, the intention being that he would free her prop; a CMU RiB would be remaining on scene. That being the case, the ILB crew indicated that they would return to base. Before being able to do so however, at 13:28 hrs, Clyde Coastguard radioed the ILB to advise that they had received a 999 call from a member of the public reporting a capsized boat off McInroy’s Point, and could they respond (see report above).

Cabin Cruiser adrift at Kilmun (09/26 - Saturday 15th August, 2009 )

The ILB was launched at 13:05 hrs after being asked to go to the assistance of a cabin cruiser at Kilmun (in the Holy Loch) which apparently had engine problems. Although there were no other vessels in the area to assist when the ILB launched, a RiB from the Holy Loch marina became available as the ILB was on passage to Kilmun. After confirming with the RiB crew that they were happy to take the stricken cruiser in tow, the ILB returned to base, reporting ready for service again at 13:58 hrs. (Passage time from Rhu to Kilmun is about 17 minutes).

Cabin Cruiser adrift at Strone (Thursday 30th July, 2009 at 20:08 hrs)

This launch was cancelled shortly after the crew had been paged. Clyde Coastguard reported that there was a 17' Shetland Cabin Cruiser adrift off Strone Point, however before the lifeboat could be launched, a Clyde Marine Unit RiB, which was operating in the area, went to the assistance of the Cabin Cruiser.

Concern for Missing Person (09/25 - Tuesday 28th July, 2009)

Clyde Coastguard paged the station Launching Authority at 20:35 hrs to request ILB assistance. There was concern for the wellbeing of the owner of a converted fishing vessel. A friend of the owner had been trying to contact him unsuccessfully for a couple of days. As the owner of the vessel had been unwell recently, his friend raised the alert after determining that the vessel was at anchor in the middle of East India Harbour. The Coastguard asked if the ILB could take a Police Officer and Coastguard Auxiliary out to the vessel to check if the owner was on board. The LOM agreed to assist and paged the crew. After launching, the ILB proceeded to East India Harbour where the crew picked up the Police Officer and a Coastguard Auxiliary from the quay. Although there was no sign of the owner on board, a diary with a list of phone numbers was found. After working their way thro’ the list, the Police Officer and Coastguard determined that the owner was safe and well and had gone down to Saltcoats for the day by car! That being the case, the vessel was made secure, the Police Officer and Coastguard landed on shore again, and the ILB returned to base, reporting ready for service again at 21:50 hrs.

Yacht with Broken Spar (09/24 - Tuesday 21st July, 2009)

Clyde Coastguard paged a Launch Request at 16:44 hrs as a 22’ yacht was reported to be in difficulty between Greenock and Kilcreggan; the yacht apparently had a broken spar and was having problems making way. The crew was paged and the ILB launched, however shortly before reaching the casualty, the ILB crew was asked to stand down by Clyde Coastguard as the Police Launch 'Millenium' was along side the casualty and was happy to tow it back to Garelochhead. That being the case, the ILB returned to base and reported ready for service again at 17:07 hrs.

Incident at Helensburgh East Bay (Thursday 16th July, 2009 at 00:21hrs)

This launch was cancelled shortly after the crew had been paged. Clyde Coastguard reported that the incident had been resolved.

Capsized Dinghy at Helensburgh (09/23 - Thursday 9th July, 2009)

While the ILB was returning from a shout at Dunoon, it was tasked to investigate what appeared to be a capsized dingy off the Helensburgh sea front with 2 men standing on the upturned hull. Some 18 minutes after being tasked with investigating, the ILB crew advised Clyde Coastguard that they had spoken with two men who were fishing from a RIB in the area and could not see anything else in the water. As the RIB was grey in colour and very low in the water, it was agreed this had been the vessel that was thought to be in difficulty - a false alarm with good intent. The ILB returned to base and was reported ready for service again at 13:24 hrs.

Jet-Ski Capsize at Dunoon (09/22 - Thursday 9th July, 2009)

A member of the public in Dunoon contacted Clyde Coastguard to report that two persons were in the water in West Bay having fallen from their jet-ski which had apparently capsized. The Coastguard duly paged the station LOM and the crew was paged. After launching at 12:28 hrs, the ILB proceeded to Dunoon however just as the ILB arrived on scene (12:45 hrs), Clyde Coastguard advised the ILB crew that the situation had been resolved. The two men from the jet-ski were both ashore and well, and their jet-ski recovered by another vessel in the area and the Dunoon Coastguard. As another incident off the Helensburgh sea front required investigating, the ILB therefore left Dunoon and proceeded back to Helensburgh.

Jet-Ski Capsize at Greenock (09/21 - Sunday 5th July, 2009)

A Launch Request was sent out by Clyde Coastguard at 15:55 hrs after a report was received that two young men were in the water off the Container Terminal at Greenock, having been thrown from their jet-ski. After launching at 16:03 hrs, the ILB proceeded to the scene where they found that the two men had managed to swim to a ladder on the Container Terminal quay wall and that a RIB from a nearby Fishery Protection Vessel was in the process of towing the jet-ski back to shore from mid-channel. The crew of the Fishery Protection Vessel’s RIB were happy for Helensburgh ILB to take over the tow. Having done so, the ILB then picked-up the two casualties and landed them and their jet-ski at the Cardwell Bay slip, from which point it had originally been launched. Both casualties were well and did not require medical attention.

Youth in Water at Newark Castle (09/20 - Saturday 4th July, 2009)

The ILB launched at 22:40 hrs after Clyde Coastguard received a 999 call from a member of the public in Port Glasgow. The informant had reported that there was a youth in the water, having jumped from the pier at Newark Castle. After launching, the ILB proceeded to the scene and conducted a search of the pier area with nothing sighted. The ILB and a MoD Rib continued to search the area until 23:24 hrs when they were asked to stand down by Clyde Coastguard. Clyde Coastguard had concluded that the incident was a hoax as the address given by the first informant had proven to be false. The ILB returned to base and reported ready for service again at 23:58 hrs.

Vessel Aground on the Pillar Bank (09/19 - Tuesday 9th June, 2009)

After receiving a report that there was a 32’ cabin cruiser aground on the Pillar Bank off Cardross, the crew assembled and the ILB launched at 17:11 hrs. As the casualty vessel was hard aground in the middle of the Pillar Bank on a falling tide, access via the inner Ardmore channel proved to be impossible therefore, by approaching from the River Clyde channel, the ILB managed to get within 100 meters, thereafter dispatching a crew member to wade to the grounded Cabin Cruiser. As it was estimated that the ‘Lady Helen’ would not re-float until about 22:30 hrs, it was agreed that the ILB would stand down at that time and return later to escort the casualty vessel to safety. The ILB crew launched again later in the evening and by 23:07 hrs, had the casualty vessel under tow and proceeded to the navigable channel where engine checks were conducted. As all was well, the ILB escorted the 'Lady Helen' back to Rhu Marina where she was secured for the night. The ILB was back on station again by 01:05 hrs.

Engine Problems (09/18 - Sunday 7th June, 2009)

At 22:57 hrs, after receiving a call for assistance from an 18’ cabin cruiser in Cardwell Bay with engine problems, Clyde Coastguard paged the station LOM and requested ILB launch. The LOM agreed to the request and the crew were paged. After launching at 23:06 hrs, the ILB proceeded to Cardwell Bay where the crew located an 18’ cabin cruiser, the “Bowman”, as reported. Both the vessel’s inboard and outboard engines were non-operational. The ILB crew towed the casualty to the slip in Cardwell Bay and assisted the occupants with recovery of their boat. At 23:50 hrs, with the casualty safely ashore, the ILB returned to base and reported ready for service again at 00:17 hrs.

Injured Yachtsman (09/17 - Saturday 23rd May, 2009)

The lifeboat crew was paged at 13:12 hrs and tasked with going to the assistance of a person on a yacht who had reportedly injured himself while picking up his mooring in the Gareloch. After locating the yacht, the lifeboat crew found the injured man in the yacht’s cockpit with a suspected back or hip injury. Although the man did not remember exactly what had happened, he had sustained his injury while picking up his mooring and had managed to get back to the cockpit to summon assistance. He was on his own in the yacht at the time. As it was going to require additional manpower to evacuate the casualty without causing further injury, two of the lifeboat crew remained with him while the third crew member returned in the lifeboat to pick up additional lifeboat crew members. Clyde Coastguard set up a link call from the ILB to a Doctor in order to discuss the extent and seriousness of the injuries. It was agreed that the best course of action would be to leave the casualty where he was in the cockpit, supported by lifeboat crew, and to tow the yacht back to Rhu Marina where he could be evacuated under more controlled conditions. While the yacht was under tow, the lifeboat crew also spoke on VHF radio with Ambulance Paramedics who were now at the lifeboat station. At 14:14 hrs, the ILB and yacht were tied alongside at Rhu Marina where the injured man was transferred to the ambulance and taken to hospital. Thereafter the yacht was made secure and the ILB returned to station, reporting ready for service again at 15:10 hrs.

Man Overboard (09/16 - Friday 22nd May, 2009)

The lifeboat crew was paged at 07:18 hrs after Clyde Coastguard received a call on VHF channel 16 from a vessel near Cloch Point that they had a man overboard. The lifeboat crew assembled and the boat was launched 7 minutes later at 07:25 hrs, however shortly after launch, the shout was cancelled as the crew of the vessel in question had managed to recover the man themselves. Medical assistance was declined. The ILB therefore returned to station and reported ready for service again at 07:38 hrs.

Man in water - Greenock Esplanade (Monday 18th May, 2009 at 00:46hrs)

This was a Cancelled Launch. The crew were paged when a report was received from Greenock Police that there was a man in the water in front of the Cinema on Greenock Esplanade. The crew assembled however the launch was cancelled before the boat entered the water as the man had been safely rescued. Unusually, this was the second Launch Request within 30 minutes.

Incident at Helensburgh Pier (Monday 18th May, 2009 at 00:10hrs)

This was a Cancelled Launch. The crew assembled however as the boat was about to enter the water, Helensburgh Police reported that the incident had been safely resolved.

Incident at Kingston Bridge (09/15 - Tuesday 12th May, 2009)

Information withheld.

Incident at Erskine Bridge (09/14 - Monday 11th May, 2009)

Information withheld.

Yacht Aground on the Cockle Bank (09/13 - Saturday 9th May, 2009)

Clyde Coastguard contacted the station Launching Authority at 19:08 hrs to advise that there was a vessel aground on the Cockle Bank (an area that dries out at low tide) and it appeared that there was only one person on board. As the Coastguard had been unable to contact the casualty, they requested that the ILB launch and, after checking that the crew was ok, escort the casualty off the Cockle Bank on the flood tide. This was agreed and the lifeboat crew paged. After launching at 19:21 hrs, the ILB proceeded to the area where the lifeboat crew reported that they could see the casualty however could not reach it from the Channel side of the river due to the state of the tide and that they would need to approach it from the Ardmore direction. The ILB worked it’s way towards the casualty over the sand banks and eventually went alongside at 20:29 hrs. The owner was fit and well and reported that he had had rigging problems (his main halyard had broken); his outboard engine however was fully operational. After securing a line to the yacht, the ILB towed the casualty back into safe water at which point the casualty made his own way back to East India Harbour where he intended to effect repairs. The ILB returned to station and reported ready for service again at 21:54 hrs.

Man in water at Newark Castle (09/12 - Wednesday 6th May, 2009)

The crew was paged at 17:44 hrs after Greenock Police reported that a man had walked into the water at Newark Castle. After launching at 17:52 hrs, the ILB proceeded to the scene, however before reaching it, Police Officers had to wade into the water as the casualty was reported to be loosing consciousness. As the Police had the situation under control, the ILB returned to base and reported ready for service again at 18:50 hrs.

Man in water at Helensburgh Pier (09/11 - Tuesday 5th May, 2009)

The lifeboat was launched at 14:55hrs after Clyde Coastguard received information that an elderly man had fallen from Helensburgh Pier into the water, however shortly after launch the ‘shout’ was cancelled as a further report was received that the man had managed to wade to the shore unassisted. His condition was unknown however witnesses advised the Police that the casualty was last seen walking away from the scene.

Hoax Call (09/10 - Thursday 30th April, 2009)

Information withheld.

Man in water at Port Glasgow (09/09 - Monday 20th April, 2009)

After receiving a report from Greenock Police that there was a man in the water at Parklea (Port Glasgow), Clyde Coastguard contacted the station Launching Authority to request lifeboat launch. The crew was duly paged and the ILB launched 7 minutes later at 17:51 hrs, however shortly after launch Clyde Coastguard asked the lifeboat to stand down as the Police had encouraged the man to come out of the water. The ILB returned to station and reported ready for service again at 18:15 hrs.

Man in water at Helensburgh Pier (09/08 - Saturday 18th April, 2009)

The lifeboat crew were paged shortly before 1 am on Saturday morning when it was reported that a man had walked into the water 100 yards West of Helensburgh Pier. Four minutes after launching, the lifeboat was on scene, however assistance was not required as local Police managed to encourage him to come out of the water.

Missing Kitesurfer (09/07 - Monday 23rd March, 2009)

Helensburgh Lifeboat launched at 19:13 hrs to participate in the search for a missing Kite Surfer, thought to be in the Clyde somewhere in the area NNW of Lunderston Bay. A Kitesurfer Sail had been found in a tree close to the beach at Lunderston Bay and the assumption made that it had been blown ashore after having been released by the surfer. Although a thorough search of the area was conducted by Helensburgh Lifeboat, a Police Helicopter, a Royal Navy Helicopter and the Greenock Coastguard Auxiliary Team, nothing was found. It was eventually concluded that the kite had been washed down after being used and left to dry however had blown away in the strong wind and got caught in the tree! When the search for the ‘missing’ surfer was called off, the Greenock Coastguard Team was still trying to locate the owner of the kite.

This was a false alarm with good intent.

Missing Canoeist in Loch Long (09/06 - Thursday 19th March, 2009)

At 23:39 hrs, Clyde Coastguard telephoned the station LOM (Lifeboat Operations Manager) to request ILB assistance in a search for a missing canoeist, a 57 year old male. He had apparently set out from the Cove area and was last seen by a relative at about 13:00 hrs. At 17:00 hrs, a Royal Navy Minehunter had found a semi-swamped unoccupied orange canoe in Loch Long near Ardpeaton; it was later confirmed to be the canoe of the missing person. The LOM duly paged the crew with the boat launching some 8 minutes later. Over the next three hours, a very thorough search of the Loch Long area was conducted by the Lifeboat, MoD Police Launches and RiBs, Helensburgh, Kilcreggan and Dunoon Coastguard Auxiliary Teams and a helicopter from HMS Gannet. Apart from finding a canoe paddle at Port Dornaige, there was no sign of the missing man. The ILB was asked to stand down at 02:37 hrs, thereafter returning to rescue base and reporting ready for service again at 03:34 hrs.

The search re-commenced in the morning however there was still no trace of the missing canoeist.

Incident at Glasgow Bridge (09/05 - Sunday 8th March, 2009)

At 22:00 hrs, in squally weather with winds gusting up to 40 knots, the ILB launched to participate in the search for a person who had fallen into the River Clyde from Glasgow Bridge. Despite conducting an extensive search, the missing person could not be found and was presumed to have drowned.

Incident at Bowling (09/04 - Friday 27th February, 2009)

Information withheld.

Trawler Capsize (09/03 - Wednesday 11th February, 2009)

The crew was paged at 14:06 hrs after Clyde Coastguard received a 999 call from a member of the public in Dunoon who had reported that a 14 metre fishing vessel had capsized south of the Gantocks (the ‘Jubilee Star’). After launching at 14:10 hrs, the ILB proceeded to the scene of the incident where they located the fishing vessel ‘Guide Me’. The ‘Guide Me’ had been the nearest vessel to the ‘Jubilee Star’ when it capsized and had gone to the assistance of the three crew who were in the water; two of whom were clinging to the vessel’s life raft which had surfaced after the vessel sank. After taking them on board, the ‘Guide Me’ steered towards Dunoon Pier. Apparently the ‘Jubilee Star’ had been trawling for prawns when their nets were snagged on the bottom. While trying to free them, the vessel capsized and sank. At 14:25 hrs, when the ‘Guide Me’ was some 300 yards from the pier the ILB went along side and one of the ILB crew went on board to examine the three casualties. Although all three were slightly hypothermic, only one required medical attention and was given oxygen. All three men were transferred to an awaiting ambulance at Dunoon Pier and taken to the local hospital for a check-up. Two managed to walk unaided, however the third required assistance. With the three men safely in the ambulance the ILB returned to check for any debris from the ‘Jubilee Star’ and oil slicks. Fishing buoys and planks were located mid-channel off Kip Marina however none were considered to be a hazard to shipping. At 15:40 hrs, the ILB returned to station, reporting ready for service again at 16:40 hrs.

Engine Failure (09/02 - Sunday 1st February, 2009)

Clyde Coastguard paged the station Launching Authority at 14:15 hrs to advise that a vessel had broken down off Helensburgh Pier. The men on the vessel had been out fishing when they experienced engine failure. As there were no other vessels in the immediate area, it was agreed that the lifeboat would launch and assist. The lifeboat was launched at 14:21 hrs and proceeded to the area where they found a 15’ day boat with 3 persons on board. As reported, the outboard engine was non-operational (we suspect that they had simply run out of fuel). The vessel was towed back to the slip at Helensburgh Pier where the fishing boat had originally launched. Once on the slip, the lifeboat returned to station, reporting ready for services again at 15:03 hrs.

Missing Person (09/01 - Tuesday 20th January, 2009)

The lifeboat was launched at 20:53 hrs to participate in the search for a person reported missing somewhere in the Dunoon/Rosneath/Gourock area. Also involved in the search were the Police Helicopter and several Coastguard Auxiliary Teams. The search was called off at 21:57 hrs after a body was found on the shore at Cove.

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