At 23:47 wednesday 25th August, Girvan Lifeboats volunteer crew were paged by the Coastguard Operations Centre in Belfast in response to a request for assistance from Scottish Fire & Rescue Service to a vessel on fire within Girvan Harbour.
On arrival at the lifeboat station, it was plain to see a well developed fire on a small boat drifting in the harbour basin, our crew were soon changed and ready to assist.
On liasing with the fire service, the issue at hand was because the boat on fire was cast adrift and floating freely, it became problematic to proactively fight the fire, as the boat was fairly small at around 18ft as it was being hit with water from the hose reels the force of the water was pushing the vessel further away and towards other boats on the far side of the pontoons.
It was decided that we would launch the lifeboat and stand off the burning vessel at a distance utilising the wash from the lifeboats hamilton water jet engines to push the burning vessel back towards the firefighters and ensure it didnt drift towards other boats while allowing them to put the fire out, our crew deployed the lifeboats fire hose purely for the purposes of creating a cooling fan of water behind the lifeboat, between it and the burning vessel, this protects the lifeboat and crew by creating a barrier wall of water from the searing heat and smoke from the burning boat.
Once the fire was extinguished by the fire service with 2 hosereels, using a grappling hook the lifeboat hooked the stricken boat allowing it to then be pulled into the pontoons by the firemen, the lifeboat crew then secured the remains of the vessel to the pontoons, this allowed the fire service to finish damping down and check the vessel closely, all whilst Girvan Coastguard Rescue Team performed a further search of the immediate area around the harbour.
The occupants of the boat were not aboard at the time of the blaze and no injuries were sustained by anyone involved, at the height of the incident 3 fire appliances were in attendance along with multiple units from Police Scotland and Coastguard Rescue Teams, their senior officer and ourselves.
The lifeboat was made ready for the next service call and our crew returned home approximately 2hrs after being paged, the incident is now in the hands of Police Scotland.