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Moray Inshore Rescue Organisation attend two call-outs in two hours

By Garry McCartney

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Newest MIRO recruit Jamie Paterson is all smiles after returning a kayak to Burghead Harbour.
Newest MIRO recruit Jamie Paterson is all smiles after returning a kayak to Burghead Harbour.

LOCAL volunteers were called to action at sea, twice in one afternoon.

Moray Inshore Rescue Organisation (MIRO), including newest recruit, Findhorn teenager Jamie Paterson, attended call-outs to Burghead and Nairn on Saturday, June 27.

At 1pm, MIRO were told by a member of the public that people had lost a kayak while the tide was coming in at Burghead. The reporter had advised the owners against swimming after the craft. MIRO gained permission from Aberdeen Coastguard to attend and launched MIRO rescue, the Glynn Whitehead111, to recover the kayak. This was the sixth call out for MIRO this year and the fifth since the lockdown restrictions were eased on May 29. It was also the first ‘shout’ for new MIRO crew member, Jamie Paterson, who was first to spot the kayak drifting around 1.4 miles from where it had parted from its owners. The kayak was recovered and taken to Burghead harbour.

MIRO rescue returned to Findhorn and was made ready for service just in time for the next call out at 2.15pm. Whilst refuelling, the crew were instructed by Aberdeen Coastguard to assist Police Scotland and HM Coastguard following a report that two people were cut off by the tide at Nairn. MIRO attended immediately and stood by at the Old Bar, Nairn, while the casualties, who had managed to get back to shore, were checked by the coastguard. MIRO returned to Findhorn, accompanied some of the way by Rescue 151 Search & Rescue Helicopter which was on a training exercise in the area.

MIRO operations manager, Peter Mackenzie, said: "Kayaks, canoes and paddleboards are quite often found on the coastline or drifting out to sea. If we don’t know who they belong to, rescue services like MIRO can spend time searching for an owner when they’re home safe and sound. I would appeal to owners to help us to help you by labelling your equipment and other items you bring to the coast with your name and contact details, so that if you do get separated from it we can contact you to make sure you are safe. Outdoor label name tags can be ordered free online from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. Simply write your contact details onto the paper side and stick onto your piece of equipment."

For MIRO's continued successful operation, more younger people need to join the organisation.

Sixteen-year-old Jamie Paterson has joined his father, Simon, senior coxswain and one of the founders of MIRO. Jamie has a wealth of experience of powerboats, having competed at national level winning the UK RYA Youth Rigid Inflatable Boat Championship three times at the age of 10, 12 and 14.

Jamie said: "Living at Findhorn Marina, I’ve watched the guys training in the bay and the boat going out on shouts and I’ve always been keen to join. Since the restrictions with coronavirus I’ve been helping out with the family at the Captain's Table and helping in the boatyard, so it makes more sense to join MIRO now as I’m always there on hand. Saturday was good experience and a surprise to get the second call out so soon. On the way back from Nairn, it was really special to be escorted. I heard a helicopter and thought surely not, but then I looked up and they were only about 25 metres away. It was really cool!"

MIRO chairman, John Low, explained, for the continued successful operation of MIRO, the board need more younger people to join the organisation.

He said: "I am delighted to welcome Jamie to the MIRO team. Jamie is the newest and youngest member of the crew but joins with an exceptionally high level of expertise and experience with powerboats. With his skills, experience and enthusiasm, I am sure Jamie will quickly establish himself as a valued member of our team."

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