on service
Helensburgh Lifeboat (B-791) on Service

2014 Service Calls

14/38 - Missing Person (Sun 23rd Nov at 21:11 hrs)

Belfast Coastguard requested RNLI assistance at 21:11 hrs after receiving a request from the Police who were involved in a search for a missing 18 year old female. Apparently the girl's mobile phone had been tracked to the Victoria harbour area of Port Glasgow. After launching the lifeboat, the crew undertook a search of the shore line from Custom House Quay up river towards the Great harbour however at 21:51 hrs the ILB crew was asked to stand down as the girl's mobile phone had moved inland. The lifeboat returned to base and reported ready for service again at 22:15 hrs.

14/37 - Incident at Port Glasgow (Sat 15th Nov at 09:55 hrs)

Information withheld

14/36 - Incident at Erskine Bridge (Sat 8th Nov at 20.43 hrs)

Information withheld

14/35 - Distress Flares Sighted (Wed 5th Nov at 19:26 hrs)

Bonfire Night.

Irresponsible person fires Red Distress Flares at bonfire party.

Eagle eyed citizen spots flares and reports to Coastguard.

Search initiated.

Two CRTs, lifeboat, police launch and rescue helicopter spend 2 hours searching.

Female at bonfire party spots activity at sea and 'grasses' on perpetrator.

Search called off and everyone goes back to watching tv.

14/34 - Persons Stranded on Rocks (Mon 27th Oct at 09:00 hrs)

At 08:53 hrs, Belfast Coastguard requested lifeboat launch after the Dunoon Police reported that there were two persons stranded on the Gantocks after their vessel had sunk. The lifeboat launched at 09:00 hrs and proceeded to the area where they located two males standing on the rocks adjacent to the Gantocks Light; the passenger ferry Argyll Flyer was standing by and had been maintaining a visual on the casualties. As the sea conditions prevented the lifeboat getting close to the casualties, and as the two men were in no immediate danger, the lifeboat crew stood by until a rescue helicopter from HMS Gannet arrived on scene and lifted the two men from the rocks, thereafter transferring them to an awaiting ambulance at Dunoon. Although the two men initially declined medical attention, they were taken to the local hospital for a precautionary check up.

Click to view image of rescue

14/33 - Unmanned yacht aground (Tues 21st Oct at 15:00 hrs)

Helensburgh lifeboat crew was assembled after one of the helms was made aware that a 10 metre yacht had broken free from its mooring and was being blown ashore on an ebbing tide, some 400 metres west of Helensburgh pier. The Helensburgh Coastguard Rescue Team was on site and was requesting Helensburgh RNLI Lifeboat assistance. The lifeboat was launched at 15:00 hours. The crew found that a RIB from DRB Marine was already on scene and had managed to get a line onto the yacht, however it had not been able to tow it clear of the beach. The lifeboat crew rigged another line and pulled the vessel free and then took it in tow to the Rosneath yard of DRB Marine where it was secured to a mooring. As the cabin of the yacht was locked the lifeboat crew was unable to determine if the vessel was taking in water. However the owner had been alerted and undertook to check himself. The Lifeboat returned to station and reported ready for service again at 16:08 hours.

14/32 - Man Overboard (Sat 4th Oct at 13:33 hrs)

The Helensburgh lifeboat crew was paged at 13:27 hrs after Belfast Coastguard received a call from a member of the staff at the Royal Gourock Yacht Club reporting a person in the water. Fortunately the person was rescued from the water fairly promptly by a Clyde Marine Unit vessel that was in the vicinity at the time. The casualty, who required no medical attention, was taken ashore to the Royal Gourock Yacht Club. Apparently the yacht that he had fallen overboard from was on its mooring at the time and he had been the only person on board. The lifeboat was reported to be back on station and ready for service again at 14:05 hrs.

14/31 - Stranded (Sat 27th Sept at 02:12 hrs)

Helensburgh lifeboat was requested to launch after Belfast Coastguard received a call from the wife of a man who was stranded on his yacht which was on a mooring in Portkill Bay. Apparently the vessel had broken free from its mooring and had drifted onto the shore; the owner had managed to get it refloated and back onto a mooring however then had no means of getting ashore. The lifeboat launched at 02:12 hrs and transferred the man from his yacht to Kilcreggan pier. The lifeboat returned to station and reported ready for service again at 03:09 hrs.

14/30 - Adrift (Tues 23rd Sept at 13:12 hrs)

Belfast Coastguard paged the station launching authority after being contacted by the owner of a yacht that was adrift off Greenock; with engine failure and with only himself on board, he was unable to sail back to the James Watt Dock. The lifeboat crew was paged and the boat launched at 13:12 hrs. The lifeboat towed the casualty back to the Dock where he had a berth. Once the yacht was secured alongside, the lifeboat returned to base and reported ready for service again at 14:30 hrs.

14/29 - Contaminated Fuel (Fri 12th Sept at 10:03 hrs)

Helensburgh lifeboat was launched at 10.03 hrs to go to the assistance of a small fishing vessel which had broken down just of Rosneath point. The ILB crew located the vessel in Meikleross Bay and towed it back to Rhu Marina. The vessel had suffered suspected contaminated fuel problems resulting in engine failure. The lifeboat was ready for service at 10:45 hrs.

14/28 - Rope Round Prop (Wed 10th Sept at 20:01 hrs)

Belfast Coastguard contacted the lifeboat station at 19:50 hrs to advise that they had received a request for assistance from a 10 metre yacht with 3 persons on board, adrift near the Cloch lighthouse. The vessel had been en route to Rhu marina when her propeller became fouled with rope. The life boat was launched at 20:01hrs and located the casualty vessel, a 10 metre Moody yacht, which was then taken in tow back to Rhu Marina. Once the casualty vessel was secured on the berth, the ILB returned back to base and reported ready for service again at 21:35 hrs.

14/27 - Broken Jetski (Thurs 28th Aug at 20:42 hrs)

Helensburgh lifeboat was launched at 20:42 hrs to go to the assistance of a person on a jetski that had broken down while on passage from Helensburgh to Dumbarton. The lifeboat crew located the casualty in shallow water between Ardmore Point and Cardross and towed it back to Rhu. The jetski had apparently developed mechanical problems.

14/26 - Fuel Problems - Greenock (Tues 26th Aug at 10:03 hrs)

The lifeboat was launched at 10:03 hrs after Belfast Coastguard was advised that a 15 metre motor cruiser had report engine problems; the crew of the vessel had dropped anchor outside the navigation channel close to Custom House Quay, Greenock. As there were no other vessels in the area capable of assisting, Belfast Coastguard asked Helensburgh RNLI if they could respond. The lifeboat crew reported that they were alongside the vessel at 10:14 hrs, and after rigging an alongside tow, took it back to the James Watt Dock where repairs could be effected. Once the vessel was secured alongside, the lifeboat returned to base, reporting ready for service again at 11:21 hrs.

14/25 - Sinking Jetski (Sun 24th Aug at 15:38 hrs)

Helensburgh RNLI lifeboat was launched at 15:38 hrs after Belfast Coastguard was advised that 2 jetskis were in trouble off Custom House Quay, Greenock. When arriving on scene, the lifeboat crew found one jetski towing the other which was obviously sinking; two adults and one child were on the operational jetski which was struggling to make headway. One adult and the child were taken on board the lifeboat and the sinking jetski taken in tow while the other adult made his own way back to Coronation Park, Port Glasgow, where the jetskis had been launched. Although chilled, none of the casualties required medical attention. Once back at Coronation Park, the lifeboat crew helped to get the sinking jetski ashore and then returned to base.

Click to view image of rescue

14/24 - Saved from Foundering (Sun 17th Aug at 11:39 hrs)

At 11:39 hrs, while out on a routine exercise in the Port Glasgow area, the Helensburgh lifeboat crew was contacted by Belfast Coastguard who requested that they investigate a report of a vessel that was adrift off the mouth of the Holy Loch; a 999 call had been received from a member of the public. Once on scene the lifeboat crew located the vessel, an unmanned 33' motorsailer with a broken mooring line which was about to be blown onto the rocky shore at Strone on the North shore of the Holy Loch. In very gusty conditions the lifeboat crew pulled it clear of the shore and then towed it to Sandbank Marina where it was secured alongside. The lifeboat then returned to base and reported ready for service again at 13:15 hrs.

Click to view image of rescue

14/23 - Motor Cruiser Adrift - Port Glasgow (Fri 15th Aug at 13:07 hrs)

The lifeboat was launched at 13:07 hrs after the crew of a motor cruiser contacted Belfast Coastguard to report engine failure. Although the cruiser was relatively close to shore, as there were no other vessels in the area, Belfast asked Helensburgh RNLI if they could assist. The lifeboat crew located the casualty, a 7 metre Bayliner, outside the navigation channel over the sandbanks and towed it back into the James Watt dock. Once the casualty was secured alongside, the lifeboat returned to base, reporting ready for service again at 14:38 hrs.

14/22 - Rescue of Unwell Man (Sat 9th Aug at 15:38 hrs)

Helensburgh RNLI lifeboat crew was called out at 15:38 hrs after Belfast Coastguard was advised that a small dayboat with four persons on board was adrift with engine problems off Port Glasgow; one of the men on board the boat was reported to be unwell and required medical attention. When the lifeboat crew arrived on scene, it was confirmed that the man required urgent medical attention. He was taken off the vessel by the lifeboat crew and landed at the James Watt dock in Port Glasgow where he was handed over to ambulance paramedics. With the casualty being treated, the lifeboat crew returned to the vessel, which was now aground on a sandbank, and after refloating it, towed it back to the James Watt dock along with the other three men. At 14:49 hrs, with the vessel secured and all persons ashore, the lifeboat returned to base.

Click to view image of rescue

14/21 - Diver in Difficulty - Gourock (Thurs 7th Aug at 17:47 hrs)

Belfast Coastguard requested RNLI assistance at 17:42 hrs after they received a report of a diver in difficulty off Gourock; three sports divers had been diving from the shore when one of them had experienced breathing problems while descending. The lifeboat was launched however when the crew arrived on scene at 18:00 hrs, the casualty was already on shore and was being treated by a Doctor and Ambulance Paramedics; he was transferred by road ambulance to Inverclyde Hospital. In addition to Police, Ambulance Paramedics and a Coastguard Response Team, an Air Ambulance was also present in addition to a Rescue Helicopter from HMS Gannet. At 18:18 hrs the ILB was released and returned to station, reporting ready for service again at 18:46 hrs.

14/20 - False Alarm - Dumbarton (Thurs 17th Jul at 20:33 hrs)

This was a false alarm with good intent. A member of the public in Dumbarton reported to the Coastguard that he could see a masted blue and white vessel drifting up river towards the Erskine Bridge and there did not appear to be any signs of occupancy on the vessel. The lifeboat was duly launched and proceeded to the area where the crew made contact with the occupants of the only vessel in the area - a blue and white masted yacht! There were two persons and board who advised that they had come out of the River Leven an hour ago and had made passage up to Bowling and back; they were in no difficulty. That being the case, all resources involved were asked to stand down and the ILB returned to base.

14/19 - Dayboat Adrift - Helensburgh (Tues 15th Jul at 19:45 hrs)

At 19:45 hrs, the lifeboat crew was tasked by Belfast Coastguard to check on a small dayboat which appeared to be adrift off Helensburgh Pier; a member of the public had called the Coastguard and reported that there was one person onboard who was paddling and making no headway. The lifeboat crew located the vessel some 400 metres off Helensburgh Pier; as reported it was adrift with fuel problems. It was taken in tow by the lifeboat back to Rhu Marina where it was secured alongside. The ILB returned to station and reported ready for service again at 20:28 hrs.

14/18 - Incident at Bowling (Tues 15th Jul at 19:25 hrs)

Information withheld.

14/17 - Yacht Adrift - Rhu Narrows (Mon 14th Jul at 13:05 hrs)

Belfast Coastguard telephoned the station Operations Manager at 13:05 hrs to request RNLI assistance. They had just received a call from the owner of a yacht that was adrift close to the Rhu Narrows; his engine was non-operational due to fuel problems and there was no wind. The lifeboat crew was duly paged, and after locating him, towed him back to the marina in Rosneath Bay. The ILB returned to station and was reported ready for service again at 13:56 hrs.

14/16 - Search for Missing Person (Sun 13th Jul at 01:52 hrs)

Information withheld.

14/15 - Motor Cruiser Adrift - Port Glasgow (Fri 11th Jul at 21:12 hrs)

The lifeboat was launched at 21:12 hrs after the crew of a motor cruiser contacted Belfast Coastguard to report engine failure. Although the cruiser was relatively close to shore, as there were no other vessels in the area, Belfast asked Helensburgh RNLI if they could assist. At 21:28 hrs, the ILB crew reported that they were alongside the vessel and intended to tow it into the James Watt dock; the cruiser had 5 persons on board. Once it was secured alongside in the dock, the ILB returned to station, reporting ready for service again at 22:14 hrs.

14/14 - Persons on Channel Buoy - Dumbarton (Fri 11th Jul at 14:18 hrs)

Belfast Coastguard requested lifeboat launch at 14:18 hrs after a member of the public had informed them that there were two persons on one of the Navigation Buoys at the mouth of the River Leven. There appeared to be a small dinghy alongside the buoy which was low in the water. The lifeboat was launched and at 14:49 hrs, the crew reported that they were alongside buoy number 72; there were two males on the buoy plus another male in a 6' dinghy and with two dogs. None of them were wearing lifejackets and two planks of wood were being used for oars. Apparently they had been fishing in the River Leven however had been carried out into the river by the strong current and breeze. The lifeboat crew took them all on board and landed them back at Sandpoint Marina along with the dinghy. The lifeboat crew then returned to station and reported ready for service again at 15:56 hrs.

14/13 - Motor Cruiser Adrift - Cloch (Wed 2nd Jul at 15:08 hrs)

Belfast Coastguard contacted the station Operations Manager to request RNLI assistance. They had been contacted by the owner of a 34' Motor Cruiser who reported that he was adrift off Cloch point. Apparently the vessel was on passage from a boatyard after having undergone maintenance on its propulsion system. Although forward gear could be selected, they had no drive. After launching, the ILB crew proceeded to the area where they located the vessel which had been taken in tow by a passing fishing vessel. The tow was transferred to the ILB which then towed the vessel to the James Watt Dock, Port Glasgow. After securing the vessel alongside at the Dock, the ILB returned to base, reporting ready for service again at 17:16 hrs.

14/11 - Yacht Aground - Dumbarton (Sun 22nd Jun at 13:40 hrs)

Belfast Coastguard requested RNLI assistance at 13:40 hrs after receiving a call from the owner of a 9 metre yacht that was aground on a sandbank near Dumbarton. The lifeboat was launched and the crew located the vessel without difficulty however as it was high and dry on an ebbing tide, it would be several hours before the vessel would refloat again. That being the case, the lifeboat crew layed out an anchor, and after confirming that there was no hull damage, returned to base after assuring the owner that they would return later; the owner was happy to remain on board. At 16:45 hrs, the lifeboat put to sea again and after towing the yacht off the sandbank, escorted it back to Sandpoint Marina in the River Leven. Once the vessel was secured alongside, the lifeboat returned to station, reporting ready for service again at 18:58 hrs.

14/10 - Under the Influence - Gourock (Sat 21st Jun at 18:52 hrs)

Helensburgh RNLI lifeboat launched again at 18:52 hrs to investigate a report that there was a motor cruiser with 5 persons on board leaving Cardwell Bay and it appeared that all 5 were under the influence of drink or drugs. When the lifeboat crew located the vessel, it was making for the Holy Loch and was being driven erratically; there were 5 persons on board, all of whom appeared to be under the influence of drink or drugs with no-one wearing a lifejacket. The lifeboat crew established that the vessel was heading for Sandbank Marina in the Holy Loch, therefore they escorted them there until they were safely moored alongside in the marina; the Dunoon Coastguard Response Team then took over. The ILB then returned to station reporting ready for service again at 20:46 hrs.

14/09 - Vessel Adrift - Cardwell Bay (Sat 21st Jun at 17:49 hrs)

At 17:49 hrs, Belfast Coastguard requested RNLI assistance after receiving a call for help from 3 persons adrift in a small inflatable dinghy adrift off Cardwell Bay, Gourock; their engine had failed. The lifeboat crew was paged and the boat launched at 17:57 hrs. After locating the casualty, the lifeboat crew assisted the 3 occupants and their dinghy to a landing slip in Cardwell Bay where Greenock Coastguard took over. The lifeboat then returned to base.

14/08 - Yacht Aground - Strone Point (Thurs 12th Jun at 15:21 hrs)

Helensburgh lifeboat was called out on Thursday afternoon after Belfast Coastguard received a request for assistance from the crew of a 36' yacht off Strone Point. Once on scene, the lifeboat crew established that the vessel was well and truly aground and would not refloat until later in the evening on the flood tide; the yacht was wedged between rocks and was listing heavily although did not appear to have suffered any hull damage. At the time, all the lifeboat crew could do was to set out an anchor and assist the yacht's crew ashore. Later in the evening, the yacht refloated and no further RNLI involvement was required.

14/07 - Incident on River Leven (Tues 10th June at 13:05 hrs)

Information witheld.

14/06 - Yacht Adrift - Greenock (Sat 31st May at 18:32 hrs)

At 18:32 hrs, Belfast Coastguard contacted the Helensburgh RNLI to advise that there was a small vessel adrift off the esplanade at Greenock and as there were no other vessels in the area, the Coastguard requested that the lifeboat go to their assistance. The lifeboat crew was duly paged and the boat launched. At 18:55 hrs, the lifeboat crew advised that they were alongside the casualty, a 16' yacht with a small outboard engine, and intended to tow it to Cardwell Bay; apparently their engine had failed and they were unable to use the sails. Once the casualty was safely back on its mooring, the ILB returned to station; the crew of the casualty vessel intended to row ashore in their own tender.

14/05 - Cabin Cruiser Aground (Tues 20th May at 10:52 hrs)

Belfast Coastguard contacted Helensburgh Lifeboat station on Tuesday morning to request assistance after receiving a report that there was a small cabin cruiser aground on a sandbank opposite Kelburn Park, Port Glasgow. The lifeboat was launched at 10:52 hrs and proceeded to the area where the crew located a 16' cabin cruiser aground on a sandbank just outside the navigation channel. The owner of the cabin cruiser had been fishing and had been caught out by the freshening wind. Two of the lifeboat crew waded across the sandbank to the vessel and managed to refloat it without any difficulty. Once back in deeper water, the cruiser made its own way back to Port Glasgow, escorted by the lifeboat, where it was safely moored. The lifeboat then returned to base and reported ready for service again at 12:17 hrs.

14/04 - Motor Cruiser Adrift (Sat 3rd May at 16:57 hrs)

After receiving a 999 call from the owner of a 23' motor cruiser, Belfast Coastguard contacted Helensburgh Lifeboat Station to request RNLI assistance; apparently the cruiser had experienced engine failure while on passage from Port Glasgow to Loch Goil and was thought to be adrift near the mouth of Loch Long. After crew assembly, the lifeboat launched at 16:57 hrs and proceeded to Loch Long where the lifeboat crew located the casualty, a 23' Seamaster motor cruiser with one person on board. Although the cruiser had two outboard engines, neither was operational. The lifeboat towed the cruiser to Blairmore where she was secured to a mooring and the owner landed at Blairmore Pier. After returning to base, the lifeboat was reported to be ready for service again at 18:34 hrs.

14/03 - Vessel Adrift (Tues 29th Apr at 15:20 hrs)

Shortly after 3pm on Tuesday 29th April, Belfast Coastguard contacted the station Operations Manager to advise that they had received a report of what was thought to be either a small red dinghy or possibly a jetski adrift in the River Clyde channel near Langbank. It was agreed that it would be prudent for Helensburgh lifeboat to investigate. During a search of the area, the lifeboat crew located a derelict jetski secured to a moored vessel close to Newark Castle. The crew of the vessel had found it drifting in the river and had recovered it. Clearly the jetski had not been used for some time as there was no engine and all fittings had been removed. That being the case, the jetski was taken back to Rhu Marina where the lifeboat was refuelled and reported ready for service again at 16:45 hrs.

14/02 - Fishing Vessel Aground (Fri 7th Mar at 15:34 hrs)

Belfast Coastguard contacted Helensburgh Lifeboat Station at 15:25 hrs to request RNLI assistance with an attempt to refloat a commercial fishing boat that was aground in the Holy Loch. Apparently the vessel had gone aground the previous evening and two of its crew were on board attempting to refloat it on the rising tide. After launching, the lifeboat proceeded to the Holy Loch where the lifeboat crew located the commercial 12 metre fishing boat, hard aground, some 10 metres from the beach. Efforts to right the vessel were unsuccessful and as the fishing boat's gunwales were below the rising sea level, the ILB's salvage pump proved ineffective. That being the case, the lifeboat conveyed the fishing boat's crew to shore where they were going to organise a commercial salvage. The lifeboat returned to base and was reported to be ready for service again at 17:50 hrs.

14/01 - Distress Flare Reported (Mon 17th Feb at 19:03 hrs)

At 18:55 hrs, Belfast Coastguard contacted the station Operations Manager to advise that they had received several calls from members of the public who had reported sightings of a possible red flare in the vicinity of Dumbarton Castle at the mouth of the River Leven. After launching, the lifeboat crew proceeded to Dumbarton, where, along with two police boats, coastguard teams and a rescue helicopter, a thorough search of the area from Cardross up to Bowling Harbour was conducted with nothing untoward found. At 20:26 hrs it was concluded that the flare had been fired from shore; all units were asked to stand down and return to base. At 21:16 hrs, the lifeboat was reported to be back on station and ready for service again.

A charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SCO37736). Charity number CHY 2678 in the Republic of Ireland  I  RNLI (Trading) Ltd - 01073377, RNLI (Sales) Ltd - 2202240 and RNLI (Enterprises) Ltd - 1784500 are all companies registered at West Quay Road, Poole BH15 1HZ. Images & copyright RNLI 2008.