Sea search after Mayday call for person in water at Macduff Harbour
The volunteer crew from Macduff RNLI launched after Aberdeen Coastguard received a Mayday call from a marine radio
The Coastguard was not able to make any further contact with the person who made the call or gain any further details. Macduff lifeboat was requested to launch. The volunteer crew were paged at 10:12pm, lifeboat Lydia Macdonald was launched and on scene at 10:18pm where they were tasked with searching Macduff Harbour and its approaches.
Teams from HM Coastguard bases at Banff, Gamrie, Portsoy and Portknockie were mobilised and sent to the Banff Bay area to perform a coastline search. Coastguard Helicopter, Rescue 951, was requested from Inverness to assist with the search.
Macduff lifeboat crew concluded the search of Macduff Harbour with nobody found, they were further tasked by the Coastguard with searching the Banff Bay area. Buckie RNLI was requested to assist with the search of the outer bay and provide safety cover for the Macduff lifeboat and crew.
The search continued until around midnight when the volunteers were stood down. Macduff lifeboat returned to the harbour where it was recovered, washed, refuelled and returned to service by 1am.
Volunteer crew member Ritchie Wallace, who has recently completed the RNLI Search And Rescue Navigation (SAR Nav) course at the RNLI college in Poole said: ‘After launching we carried out a search of the harbour basins, before moving out in to Banff Bay. The conditions in the bay last night were challenging with moderate winds of force 4 to 5 and a swell of around three meters.’
‘We continued to perform our search in the bay and around the mouth of the River Deveron. We were supported in the search by the Buckie lifeboat and Rescue 951 from Inverness.’
Ritchie continued: ‘It was good to put in to practice the skills that I learnt on the SAR Nav course. Fortunately there was nobody found in danger or in the water during the shout.’
Macduff RNLI Coxswain Chassey Findlay said: ‘I am concerned that the mayday call came from someone with access to a marine radio.’
‘Making a Mayday call on a marine radio is a serious as calling 999, it is something that should only be done in emergencies.’
‘I would ask whoever it was that made the call, to come forward it may be that the call was made with good intent but was a false alarm. I would urge anyone who has any information about the call please speak to the Coastguard, the police or us at Macduff Lifeboat Station.’
Notes for editors
• RNLI Macduff lifeboat Lydia Macdonald is a B class Atlantic 85 which carries 4 crew.
• Lydia Macdonald is unique within the RNLI being the only lifeboat that is launched from a mobile crane. This method of launch allows the lifeboat to be launched from other locations should the need arise.
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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.
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