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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution - Saves Lives at Sea



Kinghorn RNLI Lifeboat had an unusual rescue on Saturday afternoon when they were launched to rescue a replica Viking longboat with 14 people onboard.

The longboat, a glass fibre replica of a traditional Viking boat, was off Leven when they got into difficulty in the heavy easterly swell, which was creating 1-2m high waves. The boat was about 20 meters long, and was propelled by 10 oars.

There were fourteen people on board, aged between 16 and 50 years old. There were no injuries amongst the casualties; however some were affected by seasickness.

Kinghorn and Anstruther Lifeboats were requested to launch by Forth Coastguard at 2.36pm. Kinghorn Lifeboat arrived on scene some 20 minutes later.

Kinghorn Lifeboat Helmsman Rob Moore recalled the incident, “We were requested to assist a Viking boat off Leven which was in difficulty due to the large swell in the area. They had been trying to row but were finding it too difficult in the swell. We found the vessel off Leven being towed by a fishing boat. We took over the tow and began heading for Methil docks. The vessel was quite difficult to tow due to its size, and when Anstruther Lifeboat arrived we passed the tow to them for the final stretch into Methil.”

“Once Anstruther started towing the vessel we acted as a drogue behind the longboat as it was surfing down the waves and becoming sideways to the waves very easily due to its shape. We managed to manoeuvre it into the docks where it was secured.”

“This was a very interesting shout as it’s not every day you rescue a Viking longboat! Due to the weather we were glad to have the Anstruther all-weather lifeboat in attendance. We were able to transfer crew more easily on with our Atlantic 85 lifeboat, whilst the larger Anstruther lifeboat was more able to tow the longboat. It was a great piece of team work between the two lifeboats to get the vessel into Methil to safety.”

This was the 59th shout of the year for Kinghorn Lifeboat. Also onboard for this shout were Leanne Fisher and Neil Martin. The tractor driver who launched the lifeboat on this occasion was Evelyn Stoker.