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Teens airlifted to safety after drifting out to sea on inflatable doughnut

The RNLI crew at Kessock with the inflatable doughnut
The RNLI crew at Kessock with the inflatable doughnut

Two teens were airlifted to safety yesterday after drifting out to the sea on an inflatable pink doughnut.

The incident on Saturday around 5pm demanded the attention of a coastguard rescue helicopter and the RNLI crew at Kessock after the teenagers, and their inflatable doughnut, began drifting into the Moray Firth off the coast of Ardesier.

The alarm was raised by a passing walker who contacted Aberdeen coastguard after growing concerned for the teens.

Stornoway based helicopter Rescue 948, which had by chance been refuelling at Dalcross, assisted in the rescue by winching the teens on board and to a waiting ambulance on dry land.

It is believed that the two teenage casualties had entered the water around the golf course and drifted out to sea, pulled by the receding tide.

Shout Saturday 1 August. 📟 Our crew were paged shortly before 5pm by Aberdeen Coastguard to reports of an inflatable…

Posted by RNLI Kessock Lifeboat on Sunday, 2 August 2020

The Kessock lifeboat arrived on the scene as the casualties were being winched into the helicopter, assisting by recovering the inflatable.

Volunteer crew member and Helm Douglas Munro said: “Yesterday’s rescue highlights the dangers of using inflatables at the beach.

“The casualties were incredibly lucky to have been spotted by a walker on the beach who witnessed the teenagers drifting out to sea.

“The walker reacted quickly dialling 999 and the coastguard requested.

“A swift response by coastguard Rescue 948, local coastguard teams and Kessock lifeboat prevented what could have been a very different outcome.”

The RNLI crew has warned that inflatables are not appropriate floatation devices and should primarily be used at the pool or if used at the beach, extreme caution should be delivered.

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