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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution - Saves Lives at Sea



Kinghorn RNLI Lifeboat volunteers saved the life of an eleven year old boy off the Fife coast on Wednesday afternoon after his dinghy drifted out to sea.

Beach Lifeguards at Leven beach reported two drifting dinghy’s at 2.40pm when they noticed three children being blown further from the shore.

Forth Coastguard immediately requested the launch of Kinghorn Lifeboat who arrived on scene at 3.06pm.

When the Lifeboat reached the scene they found an empty dinghy drifting half a mile offshore. They then carried out a search of the area and found the casualty a quarter of a mile offshore. The 11 year old boy, who was only wearing shorts and a t-shirt was recovered to the Lifeboat and given first aid whilst he was taken ashore to a waiting ambulance who took him to Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy. He is understood to be suffering from hypothermia.

The other two people in the second dinghy had managed to get back to shore before the Lifeboat arrived.

Crewmember Brian Paton, “We were tasked to a report of two dinghies with three people onboard drifting out to sea, near the Leven Beach Holiday Park. When we arrived on scene there was a moderate westerly wind blowing, with waves of up to half a meter.”

“It was a shock to find the empty dinghy so far off shore, as our first concern was for the occupant who we understood had not made it ashore. We immediately carried out a search and located the boy a quarter mile from the beach. When we found him he was very distressed and suffering from the onset of hypothermia.”

“This is another very harsh reminder of the dangers of these inflatable dinghies. They are not designed for use on open water, and any users should make sure they are securely tied to the shore, and that the occupants wear flotation devices. They should also be supervised by an adult. This is the second callout in a fortnight to inflatable dinghies, however this one nearly had much more serious consequences.”

Also joining Brian on this rescue were helm Leanne Fisher and Steven Wallace.