RNLI Kessock launch to person seen in water

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The volunteer crew of RNLI Kessock were this afternoon paged at 2.40 pm to launch the RNLI Lifeboat, The Moray Dolphin to assist in the search of the River Ness following reports of a person being seen entering the water at the Greig Street Bridge in the centre of Inverness.

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RNLI volunteers searched the harbour area and mouth of the River Ness before extending the search out and into the Beauly Firth.

Conditions for the search were good, although water levels were very high in the river. While the Lifeboat and crew searched the water, further volunteers assisted Inverness Coastguard by searching the shoreline around the harbour and marina entrance.

As time past and with a rapidly falling tide the RNLI Lifeboat was requested by HM Coastguard Aberdeen to extend its search area out into the Beauly Firth. While RAF Rescue Helicopter 137 searched overhead, the three volunteer crew aboard The Moray Dolphin took the Lifeboat out into the firth and then searched an area from the Kessock Bridge out to Munlochy Bay and across to Alturlie point. Inverness Coastguard teams searched the shorelines of the Firth.

Donnie MacRae, RNLI Lifeboat Helmsman said ‘given the rate of the water flowing down the River Ness, the ebbing tide and the time passed since the person was last seen, the search area was very quickly extended out of the harbour and into the Firth where we searched areas where people have been known to appear having floated down the river in the past’

After 2 hours of searching both the shorelines and the water with nothing found the RNLI volunteers were stood down by HM Coastguard at Aberdeen who co-ordinate our search and rescue shouts.

RNLI Kessock volunteers have just completed training on the new state of the art RNLI Lifejackets and this was the first time that volunteers had worn them on a shout.

RNLI volunteer, Paul Ovenstone said of the new lifejackets ‘these new lifejackets are incredibly comfortable to wear, they sit on your shoulders really well and at times you almost forget you are wearing them giving volunteers ultimate confidence in them.’

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