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RNLI Longhope Lifeboat advise BBC on dangers of Pentland Firth

Lifeboats News Release

Planned row across the Pentland Firth in reconstructed Neolithic boat

The BBC is in the process of creating a three part series about prehistoric Orkney with reference to it's archaeology, environment and wildlife.

Part of this project will involve the reconstruction of a Neolithic boat and eventually it is planned to row this prehistoric boat across the Pentland Firth. To prepare for this journey the BBC joined Longhope lifeboat to discuss with the lifeboat crew members the tidal currents and seafaring challenges that the crew of the reconstructed boat may have to deal with.

Lifeboat Coxswain, Kevin Kirkpatrick and Deputy Coxswain, Angus Budge also advised them on the power of the water, speed of the tides, particular aspects of different currents and the pros and cons of various routes to take, in order to reach Scotland.

This is a serious and possibly dangerous venture which the RNLI does not endorse. However Longhope lifeboat crew members offered advice on how to stay safe and what to do if they get into trouble and above all to Respect the Water.

It was great to meet the film crew, Jamie and Tom and the awesome presenter Shini Somara and we wish them a safe and successful crossing in their reconstructed Neolithic boat. Rest assured Longhope lifeboat and the volunteer crew are on standby at any time, day or night.

RNLI media contacts

Mary Harris, Lifeboat Press Officer, 07709 692811, maryharrishoy@gmail.com

Henry Weaver, RNLI Press Officer for Scotland, 01738 642986, 07771 943026, henry_weaver@rnli.org.uk

Richard Smith, RNLI Public Relations Manager for Scotland, 01738 642956, 07786 668903, richard_smith2@rnli.org.uk

RNLI Press Office, 01202 336789

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.

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