Several people were rescued from a capsized vessel off Ballantrae Harbour this afternoon by Ballantrae locals using their own fishing boat, avoiding the nearby ferry route from Cairnryan.

Girvan Lifeboat raced to the scene around 2 pm [Sunday, June 13] when there were reports of a capsized boat with people in the water. 

They arrived to find two heroic villagers had recovered the casualties from the water using their own finishing boat with one of those resued appearing to show early signs of hypothermia. 

The craft was joined by Ballantrae and Girvan Coastguard Rescue Teams with the Coastguard Rescue helicopter R199 heading south from Prestwick. 

The P&O ferry travelling from Cairnryan to Larne was also diverted and placed on standby of the Ballantrae to assist the rescue if required.

Those rescued were transferred to the care of the Scottish Ambulance service before the crew and helicopter were stood down. 

A spokesperson from RNLI said: "At 2.09 pm Sunday, June 13, Girvan lifeboat was requested for immediate launch to reports of a capsized small vessel off Ballantrae Harbour with reported persons in the water.

"Girvan lifeboat and our volunteer crew were soon making best speed South, with Ballantrae and Girvan Coastguard Rescue Teams heading to the scene, Coastguard Rescue helicopter R199 was also tasked.

"P&O's European Causeway ferry also diverted and stood by off Ballantrae Harbour ready to render assistance.

"Girvan Lifeboat arrived at the location along with Rescue 199 just moments after a local fishing vessel had recovered the casualties and who were now with the Coastguard Teams and being checked over, with concerns for the health of the casualties, one of whom appeared to show symptoms of being hypothermic, preparations were being made for a landing of the helicopter, as the helicopter began its descent, the ambulance arrived and the casualties were swiftly placed in the care of the Scottish Ambulance Service Paramedics, with this and no further danger to life, both Girvan Lifeboat and Rescue 199 were stood down.

"Girvan Lifeboat and her volunteer crew returned to Girvan where the lifeboat was made ready for the next service call.

"In this instance there happened to be a fishing boat really close by who were able to assist before any assets arrived on the scene, well done to the crew for their swift action in assisting the casualties and local Coastguard Teams.

"If you see someone in difficulty at sea or on the coast, don't wait for dial 999 and ask for the coastguard."