Published: 13/06/2016 11:09 - Updated: 13/06/2016 11:40

Lifeboat crew scramble from golf fundraiser to respond to Mayday call

The Invergordon lifeboat crew was tasked following reports of a missing man on the Black Isle

A MAYDAY call meant it wasn't all plain sailing at a golfing fundraiser for the Invergordon lifeboat at the weekend.

The crew members were helping organise the RNLI Invergordon’s Texas Scramble on Saturday, when their pagers were activated by Aberdeen Coastguard.

As a steady stream of 120 golfers arrived for their tee-off times at Invergordon Golf Club, the seven members of the duty crew left to launch the lifeboat in response to a Mayday call from a small fishing vessel in the Cromarty Firth.

The lone fisherman on-board the boat feared its hull was damaged and taking on water after it appeared to hit an object in the water.

When the crew arrived at the scene, one mile east of Cromarty Harbour, the 23-foot fishing boat from Cromarty was secured alongside the newly-instated Cromarty ferry Renfrew Rose while Rescue Helicopter 951 monitored the situation overhead.

The crew quickly had the boat’s salvage pump setup and with no major signs of water intake, the vessel was secured alongside the lifeboat and towed to the safety of Invergordon’s West Harbour.

The fishing boat was taken into shallow water at low tide outside the lifeboat station where the hull was checked and no signs of impacting damage was found.

It was agreed to remove the boat from the firth at high water at the nearby Invergordon Sailing Club Slipway, and with a few hours until the tide turned, some of the crew made their way back to the golf competition to help out with the event, which involved 30 teams of four golfers.

The vessel was later loaded on to a trailer for further examination.

The rest of the crew then returned to the golfing scramble which raised £3300 for the RNLI.

The winners were:

Longest drive – D Affin

Closest to the pin – Calum Chisholm

Best dressed – Zebra Boy

First place with a score of 51 went to lifeboat crew member Dave Cargill and his team.

Second went to Shaun Doull’s team with a score of 54.1 and Ally Melville’s secured third place with a score of 57.7.

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