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Inshore lifeboat goes to rescue of sailor

By Staff Reporter

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The ESRA lifeboat on a call-out.
The ESRA lifeboat on a call-out.

A rescue bid was launched after a sailor got into difficulties in the Dornoch Firth last week.

HM Coastguard called out East Sutherland Rescue Association (ESRA) on Thursday after receiving a plea for help from a lone sailor, whose boat was adrift.

It is understood the 14ft-vessel had lost power and its occupant was unable to anchor in the Dornoch Firth.

ESRA members launched their lifeboat Glen Cassley from Dornoch beach just after noon on May 2.

The lifeboat’s three strong crew – Antony Hope, Gareth Dixon and Donald Cameron – headed to the stricken vessel’s last known location at Meikle Ferry.

Mr Hope said they had endured an uncomfortable run due to a high wind and ebbing tide.

But the trio made it across the Gizzen Briggs, around Dornoch Point and under the Dornoch Firth bridge.

Mr Hope said: “We located the drifting vessel on the south side of Meikle Ferry and confirmed that its occupant was okay before towing the craft to Meikle Ferry slipway north.

“We then motored back to Dornoch beach again via the drying sand banks of Gizzen Briggs, which made another uncomfortable passage.

“We advised HM Coastguard at 2.30pm that we were back and ready again for tasking.”

Glen Cassley was called into service again on Saturday but this time in stand-by mode as the safety boat for Golspie Rowing Club’s first ever regatta.

Mr Hope said: “The ESRA crew enjoyed the day, although it was extremely cold for the beginning of May.”

ESRA continue to look for volunteers to either help on the boat or as shore crew support. Anyone interested should contact Mr Hope on: 07710301387.

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