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Rescued by the Anstruther Lifeboat

An enormous thank you to the team at the Anstruther Lifeboat Station and the crew of the Anstruther lifeboat. Photos and videos are at the end of this post. 

Please make a donation to RNLI by clicking this link .

I recently purchased a second hand RIB, an Avon Searider 5.4m with a Yamaha 75hp outboard.  The boat had been stood for a while so I spent some time going through it and sorting out a few minor problems with the help of Jim and Val at Upper Largo Chandlery. In hindsight perhaps I should have asked Jim to have a look at the engine...

The weather was looking good last Sunday so I took the RIB over to Anstruther and paid my £13 to the Harbourmaster Tom Fyall for my launch fee.  I was a bit early for the tide and two close friends, Andrew Forgan and Bruce Anderson, were already there working on Andrews boat the Barracuda, so we had a bacon roll and talked boats for half an hour or so.

We got the RIB into the water after watching the Cupar Sub Aqua Club launch the 6 meter RIB Kracken and getting some good advice from Nick Fleming, the club’s Boat Officer.

Once in the water we fired everything up, did all our pre leaving checks and tested the 2.5 Mercury axillary engine.

The 5 mile trip over to the Isle of May was brilliant, the boat performed far better than I had anticipated, perfect weather and great scenery.  We decided to pop into the Isle of May harbour to stretch our legs (see the Google Map satellite view here).  It’s a fairly narrow entry, more a haven than a harbour, and just as we got inside the outer reach the main engine died.  We couldn’t restart so we used the oars to get into the safety of the harbour quay.

After exploring all the possibilities with the engine for 2 hours we had to agree that we weren’t going to be able to restart the main engine to get us back to Anstruther.  Although it was a fine day, there was a fair swell running and we weren’t confident that our auxiliary engine would get us back to Anstruther safely so we had to call the Coastguard.

In my many years of boating this was a first for me and I was extremely embarrassed. I spoke to the Coastguard on 999 and explained our situation. We were in no danger and comfortable to wait as long as it took.

The Anstruther Lifeboat turned up less than an hour later with their full crew.  Luckily we were at close to high tide so the lifeboat could get into the harbour.  To add slightly to the complexity the Isle of May Ferry had just arrived and the lifeboat crew had to manoeuvre our rib around the ferry.

The lifeboat crew were wonderful and did a great job of reassuring us that they’d rather come out than us risk the trip back on the axillary engine.  I want to thank all the crew on behalf of Bruce, Andrew and myself, for their fantastic assistance, cheery attitude and reassurance, oh yes and the drinks, crisps and chocolate bars, just brilliant.

Please make a donation to RNLI by clicking this link . There were all volunteers and we must have ruined a few Sunday lunches.

When we got back to Anstruther the even picked up my trailer, took the RIB out of the water, and put it on the pier waiting for us to hitch up.  Thanks again to everyone both on the lifeboat and the shore crew, we owe you big time!

For the record it was a fuel pump diaphragm failure so lots of new parts are on order.

Copyright 2012 © Photographs and videos by Bruce Anderson.

Aboard the lifeboat

Recovering the Anstruther lifeboat

The Anstruther lifeboat tilting on it's trailer

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