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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution - Saves Lives at Sea



Kinghorn RNLI Lifeboat crew have launched three times in 4 days on service to reports of disabled vessels in the Firth of Forth.

On Wednesday night the volunteer crew responded to a report of a yacht aground at Fisherrow harbour, east of Edinburgh. A 20-foot yacht, with 3 males aboard, had been driven aground on the beach following an attempt to rescue another, smaller vessel which had also got into difficulties around 5.50pm.

On Tuesday afternoon, a small fishing vessel requested assistance after it suffered gearbox failure and began taking on water off Port Seton. There was one person, a male in his 30’s, onboard. The fishing boat was towed into Port Seton harbour.

The lifeboat was also called out last Sunday afternoon to reports of a broken down jet-ski off Pettycur Bay; however, this turned out to be a false alarm with good intent.

It is understood that the incident at Fisherrow happened after a small vessel suffered engine failure when leaving the harbour. The northeasterly wind and waves then drove the vessel aground on the beach some 100m west of the harbour. Another yacht then attempted to tow the casualty vessel away from the beach, but ended up getting into difficulty themselves.

Volunteer lifeboat helm Leanne Fisher who was onboard during the latter two rescues continues, ‘we were called out twice in two days to incidents where the root cause appeared to be mechanical failure.’

‘The incident at Port Seton happened after the vessel suffered gearbox failure. We located the boat approximately one mile off the caravan park at Port Seton, and when we arrived it was also discovered that the boat was taking on water from a leaking bilge pump.

‘On Wednesday, we were tasked after a would-be rescuer got into difficulty. Whilst this action was admirable, we would always recommend that you call the Coastguard first, and then risk assess the conditions and circumstances before making a rescue attempt yourself. Fortunately, the beach was sandy, so no significant damage occurred.

‘Both incidents serve as a timely reminder that boats should be serviced following a long winter lay-up. You should also carry tools and safety equipment, and a means of communication, such as a VHF radio. If you do get into difficulty, you should call the Coastguard as soon as possible so they can provide any necessary assistance.’

The RNLI charity has a fleet of lifeboats at 235 stations around the UK and Ireland. In 2010, the Institutions’ lifeboats launched 8,713 times.