Published: 11/06/2018 19:00 - Updated: 08/06/2018 11:21

Milestone is marked by Kessock lifesavers

Written byHector MacKenzie


The volunteer crew of RNLI Kessock had a busy run-up to its landmark quarter century anniversary.

A DOUBLE call-out on Sunday saw the Kessock RNLI team mark a milestone just ahead of a 25-year anniversary.

Eight people were rescued in two separate shouts taking the team to its 700th shout just ahead of celebrating a quarter of a century in existence.

A 3.40pm Coastguard appeal triggered the first rescue after a 4m-long rigid-hulled inflatable boat suffered engine failure just to the east of the South Kessock slipway, less than half a mile from the lifeboat station.

All four people on board the vessel were wearing lifejackets or buoyancy aids and they were taken by tow the very short distance across the Kessock Channel to the slipway at North Kessock.

The next call came two hours later at 6.50pm after a small 4.5m cruiser suffered engine failure after a suspected fuel contamination. The four people on board had been fishing and were all wearing buoyancy aids.

In significantly choppier conditions and an ebbing tide, the crew located the cruiser near Chanonry Point and towed it back towards Inverness Marina in swells of up to 2.5m. The cruiser was safely secured around 9.30pm.

Dan Holland, volunteer lifeboat press officer for RNLI Kessock, praised the use of lifejackets by all rescued.

The group marked the 25-year anniversary on Tuesday.

It started with a trial D class lifeboat which was stored at the old slipway with old Kessock Ferry ticket office doubling up as the crew changing room.

The crew relocated to its new lifeboat station next to the Kessock Bridge in 2001 and the lifeboat was replaced with an Atlantic 75 inshore model until January 2014 when the current lifeboat, an Atlantic 85, the Robert and Isobel Mowat, was placed on service.

In the 25 years since being opened volunteer crews from Kessock have saved 36 lives, they have launched their lifeboat 700 times to go to the assistance of people in distress and have rescued 320 people.

The 25 volunteers now include a tree surgeon, estate agent, pilot boat skipper, heating engineer and teachers.

Alan McDiarmid, chairman says the importance of teamwork in difficult conditions remains essential.

Dan Holland, a helmsman who has volunteered for 11 years said the sense of camaraderie continues to grow: "We are tight knit bunch and with that comes a really strong sense of pride about what we do in the local community."

Stan MacRae, a volunteer for 22 years said the lifeboat is a tremendous search and rescue asset that will continue to serve the area and help to save lives for many years to come.

To mark the 25th anniversary, the volunteer crew are being photographed using old glass plates by Jack Lowe who is capturing every RNLI lifeboat crew in the UK for a special collection.

< Back


Reddit Facebook Digg Twitter Bebo