Lifeboat called to help yacht in Kilchattan Bay

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THE RNLI’s Largs lifeboat was called out after a yacht with two people on board got into difficulty in Kilchattan Bay at the south end of Bute on Tuesday afternoon.

Clyde Coastguard sent the lifeboat and the Clydeport pilot cutter Mount Stuart to help the yacht Tegan after it fouled its propeller on creel lines in the bay at around 4pm.

The Mount Stuart held the vessel from going ashore until the lifeboat arrived. The yacht was then freed and towed to Largs marina.

The incident followed a report of a yacht having grounded at Wreck Bay off Bute at around 4.45pm on Sunday, to which the coastguard’s Clyde control centre sent the RNLI’s Tighnabruaich inshore lifeboat.

Before the lifeboat arrived at the scene, a passing yacht helped the grounded vessel, Master Twister, to refloat; the vessel was checked for water ingress before continuing on to Largs.

Meanwhile, the trade union representing many employees of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency has repeated its warning that plans to close the Clyde coastguard control centre in Greenock later this year could put sailors in the west of Scotland at risk.

The Clyde control room has dealt with 46 incident reports in the last two weekends alone, and the PCS union has warned that the number of serious incidents over the bank holiday weekend in particular has left current resources “stretched to the limit”.

The PCS’s Clyde Coastguard branch said in a statement: “The MCA does not know if they can enhance the manning levels at Belfast and Stornoway to meet the increased workload.

“The PCS union has grave concerns that if the goverment does not retain Clyde coastguard station, people’s lives will put at risk and that the service that we provide at present will be severely degraded.”

The PCS has called a public meeting on the subject at the Gamble Halls in Gourock at 6pm on Tuesday, June 14.