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Helensburgh Lifeboat - Atlantic 75 Class ILB

(click image to enlarge)

'On Exercise' (photo courtesy of Geoff & Trudi Tompson)

15/30 - Person in Water? (Sun 6th Dec at 13:14 hrs)

This was a false alarm with good intent. At 13:07 hrs, Belfast Coastguard paged a Launch ILB signal as the Police had received a report that there was a person in the water at Braehead (i.e. - Renfrew, Glasgow). Shortly after launch however the lifeboat crew was asked to stand down and return to base as further investigation had determined that the object was in fact a log which was happily drifting down the river minding its own business. The lifeboat was reported to be ready for service again at 13:34 hrs.

15/29 - Fouled Anchor (Fri 13th Nov at 17:44 hrs)

At 17:37 hrs the Helensburgh lifeboat crew was paged as a report had been received that a 42' motor cruiser, with four persons on board, was caught in a mooring off Rhu Marina. Once on scene, the lifeboat crew managed to clear one mooring line from the vessel's prop although they were unable to clear a second line. They therefore laid out the vessel's anchor until a diver could be contacted. The four persons on the vessel decided to remain on board as they had made other arrangements to get ashore. After returning to base, the lifeboat was reported to be ready for service again at 18:46 hrs.

15/28 - Missing Person (Wed 11th Nov at 20:28 hrs)

Belfast Coastguard contacted the station Operations Manager at 20:28 hrs to advised that they had had a request for RNLI assistance from the Police in Dunoon. Apparently a 13 year old female was missing and RNLI help was needed to conduct a shore search of the West Bay area at Dunoon. Shortly after launching however the ILB crew was asked to stand down as the female in question had been located by the Police and was reported to be safe and well.

Cancelled Launch (Sun 1st Nov 1st at 15:21 hrs)

At 15:21 hrs on Sunday 1st November, the lifeboat crew was paged as Belfast Coastguard had received a report that a car had gone off the coast road between Dunoon and Innellan and was upside down in the water with 4 persons on board. Before the lifeboat could launch however the crew was asked to stand down as fortunately a passing member of the public had gone to the assistance of the occupants who were checked out at the local hospital and then discharged.

15/27 - Fishing Vessel Aground? (Thurs 29th Oct at 08:55 hrs)

At 08:55 hrs, Belfast Coastguard requested that the lifeboat be launched to investigate a report of a fishing vessel that had apparently gone aground off Rosneath Point. Upon investigation it transpired that the the fishing vessel was not aground however the owner was attempting to tow it to Bowling with a small RIB. As little headway was being made, and as the vessel was taking in water, the owner changed his mind and returned with the vessel to Rosneath where it was beached.

15/26 - Incident at Battery Park (Tues 8th Sept at 01:41 hrs)

Information withheld.

15/25 - Search for Missing Person (Fri 4th Sept at 16:41 hrs)

Belfast Coastguard paged the station Launching Authority at 16:32 hrs to advise that a search for a missing person was in progress and the assistance of the lifeboat was requested to conduct a shoreline search of the area. The crew was duly paged and the boat launched at 16:41 hrs. A very thorough search was conducted however with no sign of the missing person, the lifeboat crew was asked to stand down at 19:38 hrs. The boat was reported to be ready for service again at 19:55 hrs.

15/24 - Search for Missing Person (Thurs 3rd Sept at 02:54 hrs)

At 02:42 hrs on Thursday 3rd September, Belfast Coastguard contacted Helensburgh RNLI lifeboat following a request from Police Scotland to assist in a search for a missing person in the Helensburgh area. After launching at 02:54 hrs, the lifeboat crew conducted a search along the shoreline however, at 03:11 hrs, the crew was asked to stand down as the person had been found safe and well on shore. The lifeboat was reported to be ready for service again at 03:25 hrs.

15/23 - Yacht Aground on Cockle Bank (Mon 31st Aug at 18:17 hrs)

Belfast Coastguard requested the assistance of the RNLI Helensburgh lifeboat at 18:09 hrs after being advised that there was a 29' yacht aground on the Cockle Bank off Greenock; it had been on passage from Bowling to the Holy Loch when it went aground. The lifeboat was launched at 18:17 and quickly located the casualty which was found to be high and dry on a sandbank with an ebbing tide. That being the case, all the lifeboat crew could do was to lay out an anchor and then take ashore the three crew (plus dog) from the vessel to the James Watt dock having agreed to return later when the vessel re-floated. At 23:00 hrs the lifeboat was launched again, and after returning two of its crew, recovering the anchor and ensuring that the vessel was sound and dry, escorted it to the James Watt dock where it was made secure for the night. After returning to base the lifeboat was reported ready for service again at 00:50 hrs.

15/22 - Incident at Helensburgh Pier (Mon 24th Aug at 22:22 hrs)

Information withheld.

15/21 - Yacht With Fouled Prop (Sun 23rd Aug at 17:34 hrs)

At 17:23 hrs, Belfast Coastguard requested that Helensburgh lifeboat to go to the assistance of a 27' yacht that was adrift mid-channel between Hunter's Quay and Cloch Point. Apparently one of the yacht's lines had become entangled in the prop. and with the gusty weather conditions, assistance had been sought. After locating the vessel, the lifeboat crew towed it back to Rhu Marina, thereafter returning to station and reporting ready for service again at 19:48 hrs.

15/20 - RIB With Rope Round Prop (Sun 23rd Aug at 12:28 hrs)

While out on a planned exercise, the lifeboat crew encountered a 6 metre RIB which was adrift with a rope around its prop. in the vicinity of Rhu Narrows. As the lifeboat crew was in the process of recovering two kayaks (as part of an exercise), they tied the RIB to a buoy, brought the kayaks back to Rhu Marina and then returned to the casualty. After untangling the line from the RIB's prop and escorting it back to Rosneath Caravan Park, the ILB returned to station reporting ready for service again at 12:58 hrs.

15/19 - Continuing Search (Sat 22nd Aug at 09:24 hrs)

At the request of Police Scotland, the lifeboat was launched again at 09:24 hrs to continue the search for a missing man in the Port Glasgow area. A thorough search was conducted from the Greenock Ocean Terminal up to the Great Harbour (and return). At 10:54 hrs, with nothing sighted, the lifeboat crew was asked to stand down and return to base.

15/18 - Missing Person (Fri 21st Aug at 15:01 hrs)

At 14:51 hrs, Belfast Coastguard contacted the station Launching Authority to request launch as an elderly man had been reported missing in the vicinity of Customs House Quay where his car had been found. After launching, the lifeboat crew proceeded to the area where they conducted a thorough search of the area from the Greenock Ocean Terminal up to the James Watt dock with no sign of the missing man. At 16:03 hrs the lifeboat crew was asked to stand down and return to base. The lifeboat was reported ready for service again at 16:32 hrs.

15/17 - Broken Down Cabin Cruiser (Sun 16th Aug at 16:00 hrs)

At 16:00 hrs on Sunday 16th August, Belfast Coastguard requested that Helensburgh ILB go to the assistance of six persons, plus a dog, on a 27' cabin cruiser that had broken down on the River Clyde at the Barclay Curle Wharf, Whiteinch. The vessel was alongside the old shipyard however the persons on board were unable to land as all exits were secure; the vessel had been on passage from Glasgow to Bowling Harbour. Helensburgh ILB located the casualty and towed it to Bowling Harbour where the vessel was taken safely into Bowling Basin. The ILB returned to station and reported ready for service again at 18:48 hrs.

It was encouraging to see that all persons on board the casualty vessel were wearing lifejackets with the exception of the dog - apparently his is currently on order!

15/16 - Person in Water - Langbank (Sat 15th Aug at 20:00 hrs)

Shortly after 20:00 hrs Belfast Coastguard received a call from Scottish Police requesting assistance with a possible person in the water at Langbank. The ILB crew was paged and the boat launched at 20:10 hrs however while en route the crew was asked to stand down as it transpired that the call had been to a fisherman who was in danger of being cut off by the tide; he was taken ashore by the Clyde Marine Unit. The ILB crew returned to station and reported ready for Restricted Service again at 20:55 hrs due to an engine problem. (One of the boat's engines was replaced the following morning).

15/15 - Motorcruiser Adrift (Thurs 13th Aug at 15:08 hrs)

At 15:08 hrs, a member of staff at Rhu Marina alerted the lifeboat crew to the fact that there was a 26' motorsailer adrift in the vicinity of Rhu Narrows; the owner of the vessel had phoned the marina to seek assistance as he had engine problems. As the lifeboat was already afloat, the crew diverted to Rhu Narrows where they located the casualty as reported. Apparently the engine fan belt had broken and the engine was overheating. That being the case, the lifeboat crew towed the vessel to Rhu Marina and secured it alongside, then returned to station and reporting ready for service again at 16:03 hrs.

15/14 - Fire on Motor Cruiser (Mon 10th Aug at 10:37 hrs)

At 10:37 hours on Monday 10th August, Helensburgh RNLI lifeboat launched to attend a vessel on fire on the River Clyde off Gourock. The ferries Island Princess and Argyll Flyer were also in attendance along with an MoD Police Launch. The Island Princess discharged three fire extinguishers to quell the flames in the engine room, which was later found to have been caused by burning insulation, and the Argyll Flyer took two persons off the casualty vessel; the owner remained on board. After assessing the situation, the lifeboat crew reported that it appeared that the fire had been extinguished however the engine compartment had been sealed. At 11:16 hrs both ferries resumed their normal duties and the MOD Police launch stood by while the lifeboat crew ferried fire and rescue personnel out to assess the damage. Once it was confirmed that the fire had been extinguished, the lifeboat crew took the vessel in tow to the James Watt Dock where it was made secure and all persons landed. The lifeboat returned to station and reported ready for service again at 14:14 hrs. It is understood that the owner of the casualty vessel was treated for smoke inhalation.

Click to view image of casualty in the James Watt dock

Photograph by courtesy of Colin T Leck

15/13 - Report of Capsized Sailing Dinghy (Sat 8th Aug at 18:39 hrs)

At 18:39 hrs on Saturday 8th August, Belfast Coastguard advised Helensburgh RNLI Lifeboat that they had received a report of a capsized dinghy, with a possible broken mast, off the Greenock Ocean Terminal. Although there was a small speedboat in the vicinity, Belfast requested that the lifeboat attend to ensure that all was well. The lifeboat was duly launched and proceeded to the area where the crew located the sailing dinghy which had been taken in tow by the speedboat. It appeared that there had been one person on board the dinghy when it had capsized; the mast was intact. The lifeboat escorted the dinghy and speedboat back to East India dock after which time the lifeboat returned to base.

15/12 - Incident at Erskine Bridge (Sun 19th July at 10:29 hrs)

Information withheld.

15/11 - Man in Water (Sat 18th July at 16:28 hrs)

At 16:28 hrs on Saturday 18th July, the RNLI Helensburgh lifeboat crew was paged after Belfast Coastguard received several 999 calls from members of the public reporting that there was a man in water between Rhu and Rosneath; he had apparently fallen from his inflatable dinghy while investigating why his outboard engine had failed. With a strong westerly breeze, and being separated from his dinghy, he was carried across the Gareloch from Rosneath towards Kidston. He was fortunately spotted by a man in a rowing boat who went to his assistance; the lifeboat crew arrived on scene shortly after and took the casualty back to Rhu marina where was initially checked out by an Ambulance crew and then transferred to hospital for further checks. In terms of response time, the lifeboat crew had the casualty in the lifeboat 10 minutes after being paged.

15/10 - Small Vessel Adrift (Fri 17th July at 13:25 hrs)

At 13:25 hrs, Belfast Coastguard contacted the station Operations Manager to advise of an ongoing incident involving Largs lifeboat (Helensburgh's flank station). A report had initially been received of a small vessel with 4 persons on board which was reported to be adrift off Inverkip. Largs lifeboat had been launched to investigate however heavy sea conditions were hampering their progress towards the casualty which was drifting across the Firth towards the Gantocks at Dunoon. That being the case, Largs had requested that Helensburgh lifeboat should launch as they might be able to make better progress in the prevailing sea conditions. The Helensburgh crew was paged however shortly after launching, was asked to stand down as Largs had reported that they had a visual on the casualty and would therefore assist. Largs lifeboat took the vessel in tow to the Holy Loch marina as the sea conditions precluded towing it back to Kip. Helensburgh lifeboat reported ready for service again at 13:55 hrs.

15/09 - Report of Capsized Dinghy (Fri 11th July at 21:11 hrs)

Helensburgh lifeboat was launched at 21:18 hrs after Belfast Coastguard received a report of a capsized dinghy off Clynder. After investigating however the lifeboat crew reported that the dinghy had not capsized and there were no signs or recent occupancy; it looked as if the dinghy had been cast adrift. The lifeboat returned to base and reported ready for service again at 21:43 hrs.

15/08 - Motor Vessel Adrift (Mon 6th July at 21:00 hrs)

Belfast Coastguard contacted Helensburgh lifeboat station at 21:00 hrs to request lifeboat launch as a report had been received that a 21' motor vessel had broken down off the Gourock Swimming Pool; 2 persons were on board. The lifeboat duly launched and at 21:22 hrs the crew reported that they were alongside the casualty; apparently the vessel's prop shaft had broken the day before and their backup outboard engine had also failed. The motor vessel was towed into Cardwell Bay where it was made fast to a mooring buoy and the vessel's 2 crew safely landed ashore. The lifeboat returned to base and reported ready for service again at 22:30 hrs.

Cancelled Launch (Wed 1st Jul at 13:21 hrs)

At 13:21 hrs on Wednesday 1st July, the lifeboat crew was paged as Belfast Coastguard had received a report that 2 boys were on a Yellow Navigation Buoy off Dumbarton Castle. Before the lifeboat could launch however the crew was asked to stand down as the incident had been satisfactorily resolved.

15/07 - Person in Water (Sun 28th June at 19:44 hrs)

At 19:44 hrs on Sunday 28th of June the RNLI Helensburgh lifeboat crew was paged after Belfast Coastguard received a police report that there was a person in the water at Victoria Harbour, Port Glasgow. The lifeboat was duly launched but en route to the scene the ILB crew was stood down as the person in the water had been rescued by the police. The ILB returned to station as was ready for service at 20:18hrs.

15/06 - Vessel Aground (Sat 20th June at 19:10 hrs)

Belfast Coastguard paged a Launch ILB signal at 19:03 hrs after they received a report of a vessel aground on the Green Isle off Rosneath Point. The lifeboat was launched at 19:10 hrs and proceeded to the area where the crew confirmed that a 37 ft Motor Vessel was certainly aground. As there was no hope of refloating the vessel on the ebbing tide, two of the persons on board were taken back to Rhu Marina while the owner remained on board; the lifeboat crew laid out an anchor in safe water after confirming that the hull and props had sustained no damage. It was agreed that the lifeboat would return later to escort the vessel to safety once refloated.

At 00:45 hrs on Sunday 21st June the crew re-assembled and lifeboat launched again and by 01:11 hrs had reported that the Motor Vessel was safely afloat. The lifeboat escorted it back to Rhu Marina where it was safely secured on its berth again by 01:30 hrs. The lifeboat crew reported ready for service again at 01:50 hrs.

15/05 - Powerless Tender (Sat 20th June at 15:37 hrs)

During the station Open Day, a call was received from a member of the public reporting that there was a small inflatable dinghy in difficulty off the seafront at Kidston Point; it appeared that the dinghy had had engine trouble and the occupant was trying to make to shore using the oars. The lifeboat crew proceeded to the area where they located the 6' tender as reported. The owner had apparently just purchased it and had gone out for a 'sea trial' however the engine had stopped and he was attempting to row back to Rhu Marina; he was therefore grateful for a tow.

15/04 - Man in Water - Gourock (Fri 8th Apr at 20:29 hrs)

At 20:29 hrs on Friday 8th May, Helensburgh lifeboat crew was paged by Belfast Coastguard after a report was received from a member of the public that there was a person in the water at Gourock clinging to a yacht; apparently a man had fallen into the water from the yacht while trying to pick up a mooring. The lifeboat was duly launched at 20:36 hrs and when arriving on scene the lifeboat crew found that the man had fortunately been pulled from the water by the crew of another yacht. As he was mildly hypothermic and had sustained a head injury, the lifeboat crew landed the casualty at the Royal Gourock yacht club slip where he was transferred to a waiting ambulance: he was taken to hospital for a check up. As the Royal Gourock yacht club's launch appeared to be out of action, the lifeboat crew then took the opportunity of ferrying another 22 persons and a dog ashore.

15/03 - Incident at Victoria Bridge (Fri 1st May at 00:25 hrs)

At 00:25 hrs, Belfast Coastguard paged a Launch ILB signal after receiving a report from Fire & Rescue that there was a person in the water clinging to a Life Ring at the Victoria Bridge, Glasgow. Shortly after launching however, the ILB crew was asked to Return to Base as the casualty had been recovered by Fire & Rescue.

15/02 - Yacht on the Rocks (Fri 17th Apr at 14:52 hrs)

At 14:52 hrs, Belfast Coastguard contacted Helensburgh Lifeboat to request assistance as a yacht had gone aground while exiting the James Watt Dock; one person was on board. After launching, the lifeboat proceeded to the area where the crew located a 27' yacht hard aground on the rocks some 50 metres from the dock exit. As the vessel was high and dry, and with the tide on the ebb, all the lifeboat crew could do was to lay out an anchor and then land the yacht owner back in the James Watt Dock. It was agreed with Belfast Coastguard that the lifeboat would return later to ensure that the yacht was refloated safely.

The lifeboat crew assembled again at 19:30 hrs and proceeded back to Port Glasgow, where, at 21:29 hrs, the crew reported that they had managed to refloat the yacht and were escorting it back into James Watt Dock where it was safely secured alongside. The vessel appeared to have sustained no hull damage. The lifeboat crew then returned to base, reporting ready for service again at 22:35 hrs.

Click to view image of rescue

15/01 - Incident at Erskine Bridge (Fri 6th Feb at 12:48 hrs)

Lifeboat crew recovered a life sized toy skull up river from the bridge!

15/Standby - Aircraft Emergency (Tues 13th Jan at 10:02 hrs)

At 10:02 hrs, Belfast Coastguard paged Helensburgh lifeboat after an aircraft attempting to land at Glasgow Airport declared an emergency due to a cockpit indication that the nosewheel had not locked. A flypast showed that the nosewheel was down and the aircraft landed safely at 10:09 hrs. At 10:10 hrs the ILB was requested to stand down from Immediate Readiness.

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.