An RNLI crew was called out to rescue two people who became “stranded” on the anchor chain of a Cromarty Firth oil rig on Friday evening.
The pair – a swimmer and a kayaker – had set out for an open swimming session in the Firth however, however they got into difficulty amid a strong tidal current.
To save themselves, the pair caught and held onto the anchor chain of the Well-Safe Guardian – an oil rig stationed in the Cromarty Firth – and were quickly spotted by the rig’s crew who raised the alarm.
Just after 6pm, the RNLI volunteer team was dispatched with a rescue craft following a request from Aberdeen Coastguard.
The ‘Douglas Aikman Smith’ lifeboat and a rescue helicopter were sent out, quickly spotting the two men clutching the anchor chain.
An all-weather daughtercraft was sent out to navigate the location around the rig and the pair were brought to safety and returned to Invergordon.
Following medical checks they had “no issues”, the RNLI said, “albeit cold”.
Meanwhile the kayak, found further up the Firth, was located and returned to its owner.
Invergordon crew member and volunteer press officer Michael MacDonald said: “This evening’s call-out shows the importance as the summer season continues, advice was given to prior planning, in respect of weather conditions, tide and means to communicate if difficulty occurs, and keep it within reach.
“Both Respect The Water and Float to Live key messages were passed over to the two individuals for any future trips.’
The ‘Douglas Aikman Smith’ was made ready for service once again by 8.30pm following Covid-19 cleaning procedures.
The RNLI is a charity run by volunteers who provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the UK and Republic of Ireland.
The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.