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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution - Saves Lives at Sea



Kinghorn RNLI Lifeboat volunteers were called out on Sunday to a report of three kayakers in the water off Portobello.

Forth Coastguard received several emergency calls from the public around 1pm on Sunday afternoon with reports of three persons in the water off Portobello Bay. They also received a call from the group themselves who had a mobile phone.

Kinghorn Lifeboat crew was paged at 1.00pm and launched four minutes later. Many of the crew were at the station, which was holding a Doors Open Day.

Helm Joanne Wibberley recalls the rescue, “We made our way across the Forth in squally, windy conditions and steep seas. Visibility was almost non-existent at times due to the spray being whipped up by the southerly wind. Once on scene we were able to find the three casualties very quickly as they had rafted together, making them easier to spot. The group were approximately half a mile offshore.

“The group of three males in their 30’s, was being blown offshore by the strong wind. One person was still in their kayak, however, two had been in the water for around half an hour, but had managed to drag themselves out of the water onto their rafted kayaks. We recovered them to the Atlantic 85 lifeboat and landed them ashore to the local coastguard and ambulance at Portobello beach.

Joanne Wibberley continued, “It's a timely message about knowing your limits and only going to sea if you can do so safely. This means having some basic safety equipment including lifejackets, suitable clothing, a means of communication such as a VHF radio, flares and also checking the weather forecast.

“The group did well to stay together once they got into difficulty. This made it much easier to find them.”

It is understood the kayaks were hired.

Also joining Joanne on this rescue were Neil Chalmers, Neil Martin and Mel McGarva. The tractor driver who launched the Lifeboat was Steve Brown.
The lifeboat station welcomed over 100 visitors to the station during the Doors Open Day, raising £250 for the charity.