The RNLI lifeboat at Kinghorn looks set for its busiest year of operation so far. This weekend saw the lifeboat launched to its 55th rescue of the year. Last year the number of rescues totalled 54 and showed that the 'wee' lifeboat was one of the busiest in the land.
The latest shout for the volunteer crew occurred at 6.30pm on Friday night (31/08/07) when they were launched to a report of a 10 foot fishing boat having broken down, taking on water with 3 persons on board, about 400 yards offshore from Burntisland Harbour.
Helmsman Neil Chalmers said of the rescue, "The stricken vessel was called the 'Princess' and had launched from Aberdour with three men in their early 20's on board. When they lost power on their 5hp engine, the small vessel was at the mercy of the wind and tide, which at the time was producing up to 1 metre high waves in that area. The vessel was pushed eastwards towards Burntisland, with the waves breaking over the hull of the boat and beginning to sink her. They were quite lucky to miss the harbour wall/breakwater at Burntisland, or they may have been in serious trouble."
He continued," I imagine it would have been pretty scary in such a small boat! We took 2 of the boat's crew onboard the lifeboat and transferred crewman Brian Paton over to the stricken boat whilst we prepared to tow it to safety. Thankfully the Princess's crew all were wearing lifejackets, but were saved by contacting the Coastguard on their mobile phone. It reinforces the need to be aware of the conditions in the Forth as even when they look good from a distance, its a different ball game when you get out there."
The other RNLI crew involved in the latest rescue were Mark Brown, Evelyn Stoker and Norman Soutar. The lifeboat returned to station around 7.30pm.