Four Rescued After Tender Capsizes at Loch Long

Four people have been rescued from the water in Loch Long near Helensburgh after a tender capsized.

At 6.40pm on Sunday, HM Coastguard received a 999 call reporting people in the water at Loch Long after a tender had capsized on approach to a larger boat.  Belfast Coastguard Operations Centre sent Helensburgh Coastguard Rescue Team and Helensburgh RNLI lifeboat and the Coastguard rescue helicopter based at Prestwick.  A Police boat also attended and Scottish Ambulance Service. Four people were recovered from the water by the lifeboat and the Police Boat.  

Three of the casualties were taken by Helensburgh lifeboat to Gourock where they were met by Greenock Coastguard Rescue Team and assessed by Scottish Ambulance and did not require further treatment.  A fourth casualty was airlifted from the Police boat and transferred to hospital by the Coastguard rescue helicopter.  

All four were wearing life jackets when they went into the water.

HM Coastguard advice for recreational boaters:

Lifejackets and buoyancy aids Recreational boaters should wear an appropriate personal floatation device such as a lifejacket or buoyancy aid at all times whilst on deck. Lifejackets are appropriate for those on a sailing yacht or motor cruiser or when going ashore in a yacht tender. Buoyancy aids are suitable where there is a chance you will get wet; kayakers, canoeists, rowers, dinghy sailors, PWC riders and the like should wear buoyancy aids as recommended by their sport’s national governing body.

In addition to selecting between a lifejacket and a buoyancy aid, you need to consider what level of buoyancy you need. There are four main buoyancy levels; 50, 100, 150 and 275. In general terms, level 50 is a buoyancy aid designed for those who are likely to get wet but it will not turn you over on your back or keep your head out of water. A buoyancy aid is only an aid to buoyancy, so you still need to be able to help yourself by swimming. A level 150 is a general-purpose lifejacket used for offshore cruising and motor boating which should under normal circumstances turn the wearer face up within 5 seconds. 

For small craft such as dinghies and kayaks, which are more likely to capsize, it is recommended that you wear a buoyancy aid as an inflated lifejacket may trap the wearer under the upturned hull. However, for larger craft, where capsize is unlikely an automatically inflating lifejacket is appropriate (but take it off when you go below deck). All buoyancy aids and lifejackets should be regularly maintained – check that gas cylinders are tightly screwed in. If you’re buying a lifejacket, an automatically inflating lifejacket with a sprayhood, light and whistle is recommended. You should also consider fitting or buying a lifejacket that is fitted with crotch straps; these stop the lifejacket riding up over your head Further, detailed information on the correct selection of the right flotation device is available from the RNLI, your local chandleries and sports national governing bodies such as RYA and BCU..

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