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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution - Saves Lives at Sea



Despite having had only half the number of callouts this year as they had at this time last year, The RNLI lifeboat at Kinghorn was called out twice today, (Saturday 28/06/08). The first call was to rescue a disabled fishing boat called 'Boomerang' and the second was to assist one of the Powerboats 'Gutta boyz' taking part in the 2008 Round Britain Offshore Powerboat Race.

The volunteer crew were already at sea this morning around 9.30am when they overheard a distress message being passed from the 14 foot cabin Cruiser, 'Boomerang' which had been fishing off the Lammerlaws at Burntisland.

Helmsman Scott McIlravie said, " We overheard a "Pan, Pan" distress message being passed to the Coastguard from the Boomerang, which had a problem with its engine. There was a strong westerly wind which was making the sea quite choppy and was pushing the Boomerang towards the Black Rocks, luckily because we were so close we were able to arrive within five minutes of the call, as the boat was unable to steer and would have been dashed onto the rocks. The owner, from the Glenrothes area was pleased to see us as there was no way that 'Boomerang' was going to be able to return on its own!"

The second call out was made at 2.05pm, when the Powerboat, "Gutterboys" lost both engines.

Scott McIlravie continued the story, " The sea was very rough in the afternoon for Powerboats, and The 'Gutta boyz' had actually made it as far as Dunbar, when one of its two engines packed in. It limped back into the Forth attempting to return to Port Edgar, however as it entered Aberlady Bay it lost its second engine and was unable to steer and required urgent assistance. On arrival we spoke to the owner who told us that the boat was worth £380,000 and they needed to be towed to Port Edgar so it could be taken from the water, repaired and driven down to Newcastle for the race starting on Sunday. Unfortunately we explained that as an RNLI lifeboat we could only tow as far as the safest port for the type of vessel and we could not go all the way to Port Edgar (Queensferry). They arranged a private tow to take them there and we stood by until it arrived to make sure they were safe."

Scott added," I hope its not as busy next Saturday, as that is our Annual Open Day, between 12noon and 4pm. Anyone who wishes to have a good look round the boat, meet the crew, have lots of fun on the stalls and games should come down, its free and a good family day out!"

The crews on this occasion were helmsman Scott McIlravie, Mark Brown, Neil Chalmers and Joanne Wibberley, with Evelyn Stoker and Paul Wibberley operating the launching tractor.