The volunteer crew of RNLI Kessock were paged yesterday (Sunday) at 2pm to launch the RNLI Lifeboat, The Moray Dolphin, to go the aid of a yacht in distress between Inverness Airport and Ardersier. The wind was Westerly force 4 to 5 and the sea conditions were choppy.
The 20 ft yacht, with a family of 5 on board, had been on a day sailing trip out of Inverness and had encountered problems as they approached the narrows at Chanonary Point.
When the Lifeboat arrived on the scene the skipper of the yacht had managed to guide the vessel to some slightly calmer water and lower the anchor off Inverness Airport. Helmsman, Dougie Grant quickly made the decision to put on of the volunteer crew aboard the yacht. Trainee RNLI mechanic Kenny Foggo was transferred to the casualty vessel where he found the family all to be uninjured but the 3 children, all under the age of 10, were in a state of fear and panic.
In the best interests of the children they were transferred with their Mother aboard The Moray Dolphin to the shore at Fortrose where they were met by Cromarty Coastguard. RNLI crewman, Kenny Foggo remained on boar
d with the skipper waiting the return of the Lifeboat.
They quickly established that water and dirt had got into the yachts fuel system causing the engine failure. Attempts to clear the filter and re-start the engine failed.
Kenny Foggo said ‘The skipper of the yacht was very experienced and soon as I stepped aboard it was clear that he knew what he doing. So my priority then became to look after the children, who were quite understandably scarred of the situation’
A towline was attached to the yacht when the Lifeboat returned and soon both vessels were making their way slowly against the tide back to Inverness Marina.
Arriving back the yacht’s berth by 5pm. By which time the Mother and her children had arrived at the marina by road and the family were safely re-united no worse for their ordeal.