Warning issued after amateur sailors rescued in Tay

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Lifeboat volunteers are warning amateur sailors to be properly prepared after carrying out a dramatic rescue near Tayport on Friday night.

Broughty Ferry RNLI volunteers, as part of a multi-agency response, were called into action following a 999 call made to the Coastguard service from a concerned member of the public.

The alarm was raised just after 6pm following a report of a small powerboat drifting off Tayport with two distressed crew on board.

With the assistance of a volunteer shore crew the inshore lifeboat was launched less than ten minutes later arriving at the stricken vessel within seven minutes. A nearby jetskier also noticed the vessel in danger and made their way to offer assistance, arriving at the same time as the lifeboat crew.

The larger all weather lifeboat remained on station fully crewed and on standby in case required.

With no lifejackets, inappropriate clothing, no means of communication, no lights and with the tide going out along with darkness rapidly setting in, the recently purchased boat with the sailors on board was in grave danger of drifting unnoticed into the dangerous waters around Abertay Sands and possibly into the open sea.

Thankfully a relieved lifeboat crew got to them in time and found both sailors to be uninjured. The cause of the boat malfunction was thought to be lack of fuel. The lifeboat crew managed to fit a tow line to the stricken vessel before towing it to the safety of Broughty Ferry Harbour where they were met by members of The Coastguard Service.

Broughty Ferry RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Martin Adams said: “We encourage people to go out but to ‘respect the water’. Motorboating is great fun to enjoy but things can go wrong. Engines can fail, the weather can turn suddenly, and accidents can happen. It’s important that you’re prepared, just in case.

“The water temperature yesterday was 12.8 degrees celsius. Cold water shock is triggered in temperatures below 15 degrees. Entering the water without any protection can prove to be fatal”.