Loch Ness Lifeboat

Call out to 43' Sailing Yacht

A crew from Loch Ness RNLI lifeboat station returning from an evening training exercise were diverted in response to a distress call from a yacht drifting from Dores Bay.

The yacht, a Moody 43 from the Netherlands with two people and a cat on board, had drifted from its anchorage in Dores Bay and had a fouled propellor.

The volunteer crew of Neil Hillyard, Garry Macleod and Jacqui McFeat had just returned the Atlantic 75 class Thelma Glossop to base from a training exercise in Urquhart Bay on Thursday evening when they were tasked by Aberdeen Coastguard to assist the couple on the yacht.

The crew quickly relaunched the boat and were on scene in Dores Bay within minutes.

The couple from the Netherlands were very experienced sailors who had already sailed from their home port round the south and west coasts of Britain, and up the Caledonian Canal.

They had set anchor in Dores Bay and went ashore to enjoy an evening meal in the inn. When they returned to the beach, they saw their yacht drifting away, the anchor having lost purchase on the gravelly bed of Dores Bay.

They rapidly rowed out to the yacht in their tender, but once on board they were concerned that their anchor chain had fouled the propellor.

Helm Neil Hillyard said: ‘ Under the circumstances, the couple made the right decision to seek assistance by calling Aberdeen Coastguard. The yacht could easily have drifted onto the rocky shore of Loch Ness. We were able to assist them with resolving this issue.’

For Loch Ness RNLI's newest volunteer, Jacqui McFeat, this was her first shout. "I was really glad to be able to help out. The Dutch couple were lovely, and had a beautifully kept yacht with all the appropriate safety gear."

Once they had ensured the propellor was clear, the couple were able to start their engine, and the lifeboat was stood down.

The yacht then proceeded up the Loch to moor for the night at Dochgarroch, where they were able to rendezvous with the Inverness Coastguard team, who had also been alerted by Aberdeen Coastguard.