Man thrown from inflatable boat

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A man has been rescued from the water after he was thrown from his rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) off the Island of Barra.

Stornoway Coastguard received a 999 call just after midday yesterday by a member of the public who spotted a man in difficulty. They reported he had been thrown from his RHIB which was out of control and circling around him in the water.

The Barra Coastguard Rescue Team, the Coastguard search and rescue helicopter from Stornoway, along with the Barra RNLI lifeboat were sent to the scene.

Stornoway Coastguard also issued a Mayday relay broadcast for any vessels in the area at the time to assist. Two nearby vessels, yacht Borealis and STS Alba Endeavour, responded and reported that they RHIB had overturned but was still circling the man.

Just after 12.30pm, the man was recovered to the lifeboat and brought back to shore. He didn’t require any further medical attention.

Carol Collins, Watch Manager at Stornoway Coastguard, said: “Fortunately, the casualty in this case was wearing a wetsuit; otherwise it may have been a very different outcome, even after only a short time in the water.

“He was also at risk of serious injury from his own vessel which continued to circle him with the outboard engine running. Once ashore, he indicated to rescue units that his first task was to get a kill cord fitted so that in a similar situation in the future, at least the engine would be stopped immediately.

“We always recommend that one end of a kill cord is attached near the throttle and the other should go around the helmsman’s leg, buoyancy aid or lifejacket. You should always check your kill cord works at the start of each day or session and remember to renew it regularly.”