View as PDF

Russia remembers wrecked factory ship

Lifeboats News Release

At Tarbert Farm on Sunday 18 December, on the island of Gigha, a memorial with plaque was unveiled to the memory of the four Russian crew members who lost their lives when their factory ship, Kartli, was severely damaged by a freak wave 25 years ago to the day.

RNLI/Henry Weaver

Coxswain David MacLellan (left)

Islay’s RNLI lifeboat crew, the local RNLI chairman and the Deputy Launching Officer all attended the event.

The Consul General of the Russian Federation, Andrey A. Pritsepov and the Lord Lieutenant of Argyll officiated at the service of remembrance and unveiling of a plaque on a cairn erected overlooking the bay where the Kartli finally ran aground.

Representatives of the rescue services that had worked so hard to save the lives of the ship’s 50 strong crew, and to bring the bodies ashore, at that time, were joined by the islanders of Gigha, and Russians connected to the tragedy in church and at the cairn to receive not only very warm words of appreciation and thanks from the Consul General but to also receive commemorative medals at the Gigha Hotel afterwards.

Coxswain David MacLellan had been a young member of Islay’s RNLI Thames class lifeboat Helmut Schroder of Dunlossit that terrible night . The Consul General asked David to describe the conditions at that time.

‘You can only imagine the horrors of the crew as they drifted helplessly in those dark and fearsome conditions with the vessel completely disabled and unable to radio for help, and not knowing if anybody had seen their distress flares’, David said, giving a succinct but graphic account to the Consul General.

This event highlights the selflessness of the volunteer members the RNLI crew and all the other rescue services but also shows that their efforts do not go unnoticed or unappreciated, even after 25 years.

RNLI media contacts: Heather Dewar, RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer at Islay, on 01496 840600 (H) and Islay lifeboat station on 01496 840608, email heather.dewar@outlook.com

Or Richard Smith, RNLI Public Relations Manager Scotland on 01738 642956, 07786 668903 or richard_smith@rnli.org.uk

Or Henry Weaver, RNLI Press Officer for Scotland, 01738 642946, 07771 943026, henry_weaver@rnli.org.uk

Or contact RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789.

RNLI/Henry Weaver

Memorial

Key facts about the RNLI

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.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.

 

The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland