Jun 1 2012 by Jennifer Buchanan, Ayrshire Post (main ed)
A ROYAL visit turned into an up close experience this week.
For while HRH Duke of Kent was visiting Troon lifeboat station, the team were paged to a rescue and it was all hands on deck. A woman on an inflatable dinghy was being blown into the sea off Saltcoats beach and had no way of stopping herself.
So the crew, made up of primarily volunteers, raced to launch both boats and get to the scene.
Peter Simcock, third mechanic for the Troon RNLI, explained: “We were meeting the Duke of Kent when all our pagers suddenly went off and we had to launch the in-land and all-weather lifeboats. It just shows we’re never off duty.”
However when the crews arrived at the scene the woman had already been airlifted to safety and all that remained was for the smaller in-land lifeboat to tow the dinghy to shore. Both teams returned to Troon to find the duke waiting for them, anxious to hear of the outcome.
The woman is understood to be unhurt.
Peter added: “It actually worked out well because it gave the duke a chance to speak to all the fundraisers and junior members. It was really nice that he waited for crew to come back though.”
HRH Duke of Kent is the Queen’s cousin and current president of the RNLI.
He visited six Scottish lifeboat sessions over a two day trip and stopped in at Girvan RNLI station before he headed on to Troon on Friday, May 25.
While in Girvan the duke was even treated to a trip on the boat, so it was an exciting day for the royal.