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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution - Saves Lives at Sea



Kinghorn RNLI Lifeboat volunteers had another unusual ‘shout’ on Thursday when they were called out to clear seaweed dumped by the exceptionally high tide from their own lifeboat station doors.

This was the second unique request this week for the volunteers after they rescued a Viking longboat off Leven on Saturday.

The south-easterly weather conditions over the past few days have caused a swell to build, with 1.5m waves breaking into the bay. This combined with one of the highest tides of the year has caused large quantities of seaweed to break free from the surrounding waters and become washed up. The result was a large quantity of seaweed deposited in front of the boathouse door making it impossible to open the metal storm gates which are in place to protect the boathouse door from large tides.

Kinghorn Lifeboat Operations Manager Paul Wibberley continued, “We were alerted on Thursday morning by a beach resident to the large quantity of seaweed in front of the door. Several members of the crew offered their help and we cleared the weed from the gates soon after.”

“Unfortunately, the next high tide at 3.50pm brought another, bigger pile of weed to the station door. We estimate that there were several tonnes of seaweed dumped by this tide, with it up to 18 inches deep in places! Fortunately about ten volunteers were back at 5pm to help clear the doorway again to keep the boat available for service. They took about 40 minutes to shovel and clear the seaweed.”

“No one at the station can remember anything like this happening before, however once again the members of the crew and other helpers were on hand to assist and keep the boat available. I would like to thank them all for their help, keeping one of Scotland’s busiest lifeboats operational.”

The highest tide of this current cycle is due in the early hours, and it is likely that more seaweed will need cleared in the morning.