Helensburgh Lifeboat Crew was paged at 02:07 hrs after Clyde Coastguard received a report that a man was in the River Clyde close to Gourock Train Station. After a prompt crew assembly, the ILB was launched at 02:16 hrs and proceeded to the scene where they located a man in his mid 20s swimming some 100 yards off shore close to the outdoor bathing pool. The man had been drinking. After taking him on board the ILB, the man was given oxygen and wrapped in a blanket until he was landed and taken to an awaiting ambulance. The man had been in the water for an estimated 20 - 30 minute and was cold and very tired. Undoubtedly, had he not been rescued by the lifeboat, the man would have drowned. At 02:42 hrs, the crew advised Clyde Coastguard that the man was in the ambulance and that they were returning to base. The lifeboat was reported to be ready for service again at 03:21 hrs.
Clyde Coastguard paged a 'Launch Request' at 15:58 hrs after being contacted by a member of the public who reported that there were 2 men in the water beside what appeared to a capsized dinghy; their position was reported to be off the Helensburgh seafront. A 'Launch ILB' signal was put out and the lifeboat launched. Shortly after launch, Clyde Coastguard contacted the lifeboat and informed the crew that they thought that the situation had been resolved however requested that the boat continue to the scene to ensure that all persons were accounted for. The Coastguard also advised that there was a RIB from a naval vessel in the area. Once on scene, the lifeboat crew established that the persons seen in the water by the 1st informant were in fact the crew from the naval RIB. Although the 1st informant was correct, the RIB crew had been in no difficulty. The ILB therefore returned to base and reported ready for service again at 16:30 hrs.
The ILB was launched at 15:10 hrs after the owner of a 27' motor sailor reported that he had broken down and was drifting between McInroy's Point and Cloch Point; the vessel had been on passage from the Holy Loch to Kip Marina. At 15:23 hrs the ILB crew reported that they were alongside the casualty and it appeared that the motor sailor had dirt in the fuel system. Although the owner had cleaned the fuel filters, the fault had recurred. The ILB therefore took the vessel in tow and made her secure on one of the Royal Gourock's moorings. The owner reported that he would remain on board and attempt to resolve the problem, keeping Clyde Coastguard updated of progress. That being the case, the ILB returned to station and reported ready for service again at 16:10 hrs.
Clyde Coastguard paged a Launch Request at 15:18 hrs to advise that a 12 metre yacht with a rope round its prop was going round in circles outside Rhu Marina. The conditions were too windy for the Marina launch to assist. The lifeboat crew was paged and the ILB launched however just after clearing the launching trolley, the lifeboat was asked to return to base as the crew of the yacht had resolved the problem themselves and were able to return to the marina unassisted. That being the case, the boat was recovered and made ready for service again.
The lifeboat crew was paged at 11:27 hrs after information was received from Clyde Coastguard that there was a man, reportedly overboard from a yacht moored off Albert Road Gourock, hanging onto a buoy. After launching at 11:34 hrs, the RNLI lifeboat proceeded to the scene where the crew located the casualty, a recreational diver who had been diving with his son. A tender from one of the Caledonian MacBrayne ferries was present and had recovered the diving equipment of the two men; the Calmac crew were in the process of pulling the father out of the water when the ILB arrived. As the dive computers of both men were registering a 'too rapid' ascent, the ILB crew took the diver ashore and both men were given oxygen. After a Coastguard/dive Doctor discussion, de-compression was not considered necessary however both men were taken to Inverclyde Hospital for further oxygen and re-hydration treatment. Once the ambulance had departed, the ILB was released and returned to base, reporting ready for service again at 12:52 hrs.
The lifeboat crew was paged at 15:42 hrs after a member of the public in Port Glasgow contacted Clyde Coastguard to report that there were 3 children in a RIB waving for assistance near the Maersk vessels in the Great Harbour. After launching at 15:49 hrs, the crew proceeded to the area however could find no sign of persons in difficulty, either inside the Great Harbour or outside on the River Clyde. Greenock Mobile did however establish that the Sea Cadets had been afloat in the harbour earlier in the afternoon on exercise, and after speaking to them, it was confirmed that their RIB had run out of fuel and the children on boat had been waving for assistance which had been provided by their own rescue boat; this was clearly a false alarm with good intent. That being the case the ILB returned to base and reported ready for service again at 16:55 hrs.
Following crew assembly, the lifeboat launched at 10.12hrs after Clyde Coastguard received a 999 call from Glasgow Airport advising that an inbound aircraft with 193 persons on board had reported engine problems. The lifeboat was asked to proceed up river by Clyde Coastguard in case the aircraft had to ditch in the river and casualties end up in the water. Fortunately the aircraft landed safely and at 10:26hrs, the lifeboat was asked to stand down and return to base.
Clyde Coastguard put out a 'Launch ILB' request at 21:01 hrs after receiving a report from Dumbarton Police that there was a person in the water at Havock Road, Dumbarton. As it was an extremely low tide, the person was about half a kilometer from safe ground. Once on scene, the ILB stood by until the Coastguard Mobile had confirmed that all persons involved were safely ashore and that the inebriated female had been taken into custody. Thereafter the ILB returned to base and reported ready for service again at 22:00 hrs.
Clyde Coastguard paged a ‘Launch ILB’ signal at 18:27 hrs after they were advised that a dinghy had capsized off the Helensburgh sea front and that there were 2 children in the water; the adult with them appeared to be having difficulty righting the dinghy in the gusty conditions. While the ILB was proceeding to the scene, Clyde Coastguard advised that a passing RIB had taken the children ashore however the adult was still trying to right the dinghy. At 18:37 hrs the ILB was on scene where the crew helped to right the boat; this was complicated by the fact that the mast was stuck in the mud! Once ‘unstuck’, the dinghy was towed back to Helensburgh Pier by the ILB. The ILB then returned to base.
After receiving information that there was a female in the water off Kempock Road, Gourock, Clyde Coastguard requested lifeboat assistance, however before the crew had time to assemble, Clyde Coastguard cancelled the launch as the Police had successfully taken the female into custody.
At 14:31 hrs on Friday 6th August, the Lifeboat was launched following a report to HM Coastguard that there was a person in the water in difficulty off Dumbarton. The Lifeboat attended the scene and found a fisherman who had waded into the water to free a snagged fishing line. This was a false alarm with good intent.
At 10.46 hrs on Friday 6th August, Helensburgh RNLI Lifeboat was launched in accordance with existing contingency plans following a report that a passenger aircraft was to make an emergency landing at Glasgow International Airport. The role of the lifeboat in such cases is to stand by further up the Clyde in case casualties end up in the water. The aircraft landed safely and the lifeboat was asked to stand down.
The crew was paged at 10:16 hrs after Clyde Coastguard received a report of a female in the water at Dunoon Pier. A ‘Cancel Launch’ signal was put out 2 minutes later however when it was discovered that the female was simply having a leisurely swim in the sea and was not in any difficulty! (False Alarm with Good Intent).
After receiving information that there was a female in the water off the Helensburgh sea-front, Clyde Coastguard contacted the LOM who in turn paged the lifeboat crew. Despite a rapid turn-out of the crew, and before the ILB could be launched, Clyde Coastguard cancelled the launch as the Police had encouraged the female to come out of the water.
The second shout on July 8th was to a vessel aground at Dumbarton Rock; the ‘Nordkapperen’, a 60’ converted fishing vessel. On a rising tide, when the vessel would re-float, the Coastguard was concerned that it would become a hazard, therefore the ILB crew was asked to lay out an anchor to prevent it drifting. Clyde Coastguard was arranging for the vessel to be towed off later in the day. While securing the vessel, the ILB crew discovered that there was water in the forward cabin, however there was no sign of a hole of damage. Although the ‘rescue’ was essentially complete at this time, at the request of the Coastguard, the Lifeboat Launching Authority agreed that the ILB would stand by to ensure the safety of the owner of ‘Nordkapperen’ and the engineers when they returned to the vessel. By 17:50 hrs, the ILB crew had ferried the owner, his wife, and two engineers from Sandpoint Marina in the River Leven out to the ‘Nordkapperen’, and after establishing that they were happy with the condition of ‘Nordkapperen’, the ILB stood down and returned to base, reporting ready for service again at 19:21 hrs. A tug took the casualty on tow once she re-floated.
The lifeboat was launched at 15:19 hrs to attend two separate incidents. The first was to Parklea, east of Port Glasgow, where 3 children were reported to be on a mud bank, with a rising tide and surrounded by water. Also attending this incident was a Navy Rescue Helicopter. Shortly after 15:30 hrs, the helicopter lowered a winchman onto the mud bank, and after speaking to the children, he reported that they were not in danger and that they intended to walk ashore. That being the case, the ILB was asked to stand down and proceed to the second incident, a vessel aground at Dumbarton Rock.
Clyde MRCC contacted the lifeboat station to advise that an abandoned vehicle had been found in the vicinity of Erskine Bridge and that there was concern for the driver. At this time the ILB was returning from exercise, and after refuelling and a crew change, the ILB proceeded up river to the Bridge. After thoroughly searching both sides of the river from the bridge down to Dunglass, and with no sign of the missing person, the search was called off by Clyde Coastguard and the ILB asked to return to base.
Clyde Coastguard paged a Launch Request at 20:26 hrs after receiving a request for assistance from Helensburgh Police; apparently two drunk men had fallen from Helensburgh Pier and although one had been rescued by the Police with the assistance of a rope, the other was still in the water. When the ILB arrived on scene at 20:36 hrs, the Coastguard Mobile requested that an ILB crew member enter the water and assist the reluctant drunk ashore, (he was only up to his waist in water) however before being able to do so, the man waded ashore himself. At 20:39 hrs, the ILB was released and returned to base.
The lifeboat was launched after Clyde Coastguard received a call for assistance from the yacht ‘Amber Sky’ who had run aground at the mouth of the river Leven. The crew was paged at 16:58hrs and the lifeboat launched, however shortly after doing so, they were asked to return to base as ‘Amber Sky’ had been towed off successfully.
At 20:25 hrs, the ILB was launched to assist with the recovery of the body of a kayaker that had been found close to the Rosneath Caravan Park.
The crew was paged at 17:38 hrs and requested to go to the assistance of the fishing vessel ‘M.V. Heron’. ‘Heron’ was aground on the South bank of the River Clyde at Langbank; she had apparently been holed after striking a submerged object in the channel, and as she was taking in water, had been deliberately beached. As the tide was on the ebb, the crew of the ‘Heron’ intended to repair the damaged hull before the tide flooded again. It was therefore agreed that the ILB would return to base and launch again later in the evening, prior to ‘Heron’ re-floating; this was estimated to be at about 23:26 hrs. ‘Heron’ was almost afloat when the ILB returned and the owner happy with the repair. The ILB remained alongside until ‘Heron’ was fully afloat and as ‘Heron’ was experiencing engine problems, the ILB towed her into the river Leven and made her secure at Sandpoint Marina. The ILB then returned to base and reported ready for service again at 01:30 hrs.
The lifeboat crew was paged at 09:10 hrs to attend an incident involving a helicopter which had ditched in Loch Long at Ardgartan. The helicopter had crashed in the loch some 50 yards from shore while approaching the landing site; the pilot had been searching for his power boat which had been reported stole earlier in the morning. Fortunately the pilot managed to swim to shore after ditching, and as he required no medical attention, the ambulance crew tasked with attending was asked to stand down along with a Rescue Helicopter from HMC Gannet and Helensburgh ILB. A Clyde Marine Unit RIB was on scene to assist.
After receiving a report from a local resident that there was a capsized dinghy in Cardwell Bay, the station LOM was contacted by Clyde Coastguard with a request for the ILB to launch and investigate. After assembling, the crew launched the ILB at 22:33 hrs and proceeded to Cardwell Bay, where, with the assistance of a Police Launch and Coastguard Mobile units, the bay area was thoroughly searched. With no signs of an upturned boat or persons in the water, it was concluded that this was a false alarm with good intent.
Clyde Coastguard put out a 'Launch Request' at 22:18 hrs after receiving information that a 60’ ketch was adrift opposite the Container Terminal at Greenock. The LOM agreed to help and the crew was paged however before the lifeboat could be launched the crew was asked to stand down as a harbour vessel in the area had gone to assistance of the casualty.
This launch was cancelled shortly after the crew had been paged as the situation had been resolved.
While the lifeboat crew was out on exercise, they were hailed by the Rhu Marina Launch and asked if they could transfer a casualty from a yacht, to shore; the yacht was on one of the marina moorings. The only information that the lifeboat crew was given at that stage was that someone had fallen and that they required medical assistance. Once alongside the yacht, the ILB crew established that one of the crew had slipped while coming down the steps from the Coach Roof and had sustained a head injury on an air vent on the deck; apparently he had been unconscious for a short time. The injured man was taken to shore and then assessed by ambulance paramedics before being taken to hospital for a check-up. Fortunately his injury was not serious and he was released from hospital later in the day.
Lifeboat assistance was requested by Clyde Coastguard after they received a distress call from the vessel ‘Nordkapperen’, a 60’ converted fishing vessel. Apparently the ‘Nordkapperen’ had suffered engine failure and was adrift in the River Clyde Channel opposite Custom House Quay, Greenock. The LOM agreed to assist and the crew was paged. After launching, the ILB proceeded to the area where the crew discovered that Pilot vessel ‘Toward’ already had the casualty in tow and was proceeding to East India harbour. One of the lifeboat crew was put on board the casualty to assist while the lifeboat escorted the tow into the harbour. Once the casualty was safely alongside, the ILB returned to base, reporting ready for service again at 22:52 hrs.
This launch was cancelled shortly after the crew had been paged as the situation had been resolved satisfactorily.
The station Operations Manager was contacted at 08:44 hrs by Clyde Coastguard after a report had been received from the Clyde Pilots of what was thought to be a Red Hulled Dinghy adrift in the River Clyde channel opposite Cardross. The LOM agreed with the Coastguard that the report should be investigated and paged the crew. After launching, the ILB proceeded to the area and conducted a search from #40 buoy to #56 buoy, and thereafter around the Newark Jetty area. Although it was low water, visibility was good and any vessel in difficulty outside the navigation channel would have been sighted. With nothing found, it was agreed that this was a false alarm with good intent and the ILB asked to return to base. After refuelling and washing down, the ILB was reported ready for service again at 10:27 hrs.
The lifeboat crew was requested to launch at 22:59 hrs to assist in the rescue of a man who had fallen into the River Clyde in the centre of Glasgow. Shortly after launch however the lifeboat crew was asked to stand down and return to base as the situation had been resolved.
The ILB was launched on Sunday afternoon after a report was received from a member of the public that there was a dinghy in difficulty off Helensburgh sea-front. The alert was raised after the member of the public reported that crew of the dinghy appeared to be having difficulty righting it again and that they had been in the water for some time. The lifeboat crew was duly paged and the ILB launched. When located, the teenage crew of the dinghy had managed to right it again after resolving the rigging problem that had apparently been the cause of their difficulty. Apart from being slightly chilled they were none the worse of being in the water for the time reported. They were escorted back to the Helensburgh Sailing Club by the ILB which then returned to rescue base, reporting ready for service again at 16:27 hrs.
While out on a routine night exercise, the ILB was diverted to assist Police with an incident at Erskine Bridge however while on passage to the bridge, the ILB was asked to stand down as the situation had been resolved.
This launch was cancelled shortly after the crew had been paged as the situation had been resolved satisfactorily.
Clyde Coastguard contacted the station Launching Authority at 20:35 hrs after two reports were received of a Red Distress Flare having been sighted somewhere between Gourock and Dunoon; the fact that reports had been received from both sides of the River Clyde gave credence to the report. The crew was duly paged and the lifeboat launched some 8 minutes later. While the ILB was proceeding to the scene, the Dunoon Coastguard Mobile liaised with the first informant on Dunoon's Alexandra Parade to establish the exact bearing of the sighting. Once the ILB was on scene at 21:01 hrs, the crew fired two white Illumination Flares from mid-channel to confirm the bearing of the sighting, and to establish whether there was a vessel in distress at the reported locus. With nothing sighted, the ILB crew then conducted a search along the reported bearing from the Cloch Light down to the Gantocks. At 21:30 hrs, with nothing sighted, the ILB was asked to return to base by Clyde Coastguard as further information from Dunoon suggested that the Distress Flare was in fact a Chinese Lantern that had been ‘launched’ earlier in the evening! This was clearly a false alarm with good intent. The ILB returned to base and reported ready for service again at 22:16 hrs.
(To avoid alerting the emergency services unnecessarily, if Chinese Lanterns are going to be launched near the coast, people should advise the Coastguard beforehand).
Shortly after standing down from a Cancelled Launch, the Lifeboat Operations Manager was contacted by Clyde Coastguard at and asked if the lifeboat crew could possibly help rescue a 15 month old Boxer dog called ‘Bowzer’. ‘Bowzer’ had apparently been out for a walk with his master in the Coronation Park area of Port Glasgow when he had slipped off the quay wall (Bowzer that is – not the owner!) and fallen into the River Clyde. Bowzer had the presence of mind to swim to the nearest dry land - a rocky outcrop some 50 yards off shore. RNLI to the rescue!! The crew was paged and the boat duly launched. At 23:11 hrs, the ILB was on scene at Coronation Park where one crew member was landed in order to rescue the dog, who was understandably somewhat distressed. Despite having a handful of dog biscuits with him, one crew member proved to be insufficient to capture the traumatised ‘casualty’, therefore a second crew member was landed on the outcrop. Being mob handed, they managed to rescue Bowzer who was then returned safely to his owner on shore. The ILB returned to station and reported ready for service again at 23:58 hrs.
This launch was cancelled as the boat was about to be launched. Staff at the Ferry Terminal had managed to rescue the female.