News Articles

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution - Saves Lives at Sea



Kinghorn RNLI Lifeboat has had a busy start to May, with five callouts in one week, including a medivac, two disabled vessels, and four stranded people on Cramond Island.

The hectic week began on Monday, when the crew were requested by Aberdeen Coastguard to evacuate a sick crewmember, believed to be the ship’s captain, from the chemical tanker Clipper Sira in Kirkcaldy bay. The casualty was brought ashore to an ambulance at Kinghorn.

On Wednesday evening, a lobster fishing vessel broke down off Pathhead sands requiring a tow back to Kirkcaldy harbour, whilst on Saturday the crew attended three callouts to a disabled vessel, reports of a person in the water, and four stranded walkers on Cramond Island.

Lifeboat Press Officer, Neil Chalmers said, ‘the volunteer crew at Kinghorn has had a very busy start to May, spending nearly six and a half hours at sea during the five callouts. The callouts have been varied, and allowed the crew to use many skills which were recently refreshed during an intensive training week in April with an RNLI trainer from The Lifeboat College.

‘Each callout has brought different challenges; the disabled fishing vessel on Wednesday was towed in to Kirkcaldy harbour. On Saturday, the crew were called to Cramond Island at 2.10pm to rescue four students aged between 18 and 22 who were stranded by the incoming tide. The poor weather conditions meant the lifeboat had to use a technique known as ‘veering down’ where the lifeboat lays its anchor and reverses back to the shoreline in a controlled manner. The four students – three females and one male – were recovered to the lifeboat and taken back to Cramond harbour.

‘Whilst the lifeboat was underway to the Cramond callout, reports were received by Aberdeen Coastguard of a person in the water at Musselburgh. The crew were just approaching Cramond Island when the Coastguard re-tasked the lifeboat to Musselburgh. The lifeboat proceeded to Musselburgh, but fortunately the person was confirmed as safe and well and the lifeboat was stood down and returned to the rescue at Cramond.

‘The crew had just washed the lifeboat when a request for assistance was heard from an 8m catamaran some eight miles east of Kinghorn, after it suffered engine failure. The Coastguard requested the crew to head to the reported position at 4.50pm. The lifeboat proceeded east using a combination of the lifeboat’s navigation equipment and VHF direction finder. The sea conditions were moderate with 2.5m waves. The catamaran was heading to Granton under sail power, and due to the conditions it was decided that the catamaran should sail to Granton where the lifeboat would then assist it into harbour, as it could not safely berth without engine power.

‘The volunteer crew re-launched the lifeboat at 9.10pm on Saturday evening and assisted the catamaran and its three crewmembers safely into Granton harbour.

‘Each callout required different skills and equipment, all of which the volunteer crew regularly train for.

‘As well as the 6.5 hours at sea, each time the boat is launched it takes a further hour to clean, wash and fuel the lifeboat before the volunteer crewmembers can return home, or to work.’