CREW members from two Ayrshire lifeboats were called out to help after a yacht sparked an emergency response when it lost power in the First of Clyde.

The Largs and Troon lifeboat crews were asked to launch after the 46-foot yacht lost power to the west of Cumbrae amid concern that the vessel was drifting into a dangerous position during a journey from Tarbert on Loch Fyne to Largs.

The two lifeboats were called out in highly challenging weather on the evening of Thursday, February 8, with winds gusting to more than 50 knots.

Brian Rankin, helm of the Largs lifeboat, said the decision was taken to launch the lifeboat before the yacht lost the relative shelter being provided by Great Cumbrae itself from the strong easterly winds.

However, it proved a challenge to locate the stricken vessel, which was further north than originally thought.

The Troon lifeboat arrived and prepared to put the casualty vessel under tow. 

Due to the weather conditions and the Troon lifeboat coxswain being unfamiliar with Largs Yacht Haven, it was decided that the safest option was to tow the vessel to Troon.

Largs and Millport Weekly News: Stricken yacht returns to TroonStricken yacht returns to Troon (Image: Troon RNLI)

Brian said: "This was a shout in very challenging weather conditions and my thanks go to all of the volunteer crew involved, both on the lifeboat and ashore, for their professionalism, commitment and resilience. It was a great effort by all.

"Shouts like this highlight the importance of training in all conditions and having good local knowledge of the area.

"Teamwork is crucial, both during the shout while on the lifeboat, and also during the launch and recovery process. We really are one crew.

Largs and Millport Weekly News: 'Teamwork is crucial''Teamwork is crucial' (Image: Largs RNLI)

"Our thanks to our colleagues from Troon for their assistance with their all weather lifeboat which proved invaluable in the challenging conditions.

"If you get into difficulty at sea or along the coast, or spot someone else in trouble, always dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard."

Jim Redmond, operations manager at the Troon RNLI lifeboat, added: "Working closely with our colleagues from Largs RNLI lifeboat station, we were able to bring the casualty vessel and its crew back to the safety of Troon harbour.

"Mechanical failure is the single biggest cause of RNLI rescue call outs to sailing and motor cruisers and those onboard did the right thing by contacting the coastguard.

"If you get into difficulty at sea, always call the coastguard on VHF channel 16 or by dialling 999."