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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution - Saves Lives at Sea

Lucky Escape For Six In Boat


Six people had a lucky escape on Saturday morning when their 12 foot sailing dinghy capsized in moderate winds and seas off the Edinburgh coast.

The boat, crewed by two adults and four children, had been righted by one of the adults but was swamped. The crew were unable to stabilise the vessel and she ended up capsizing again.

The Kinghorn Lifeboat was launched and a small motor vessel headed out from Fisherrow to lend assistance to the six, who were drifting in the cool autumn waters off Portobello.

The small craft crewed by two locals managed to recover all six and take them ashore to waiting ambulances where they were treated for hypothermia. Meanwhile the lifeboat arrived on scene and began the task of righting, bailing out and towing ashore the small wooden dinghy.

Commenting on the situation, lifeboat helmsman Mike McErlane said "It really was a lucky escape for them. If they had not been spotted quickly enough, and if the local vessel had not come to their aid, the outcome could have been very different." He went on to add that the youngest boy had apparently been the worst affected by hypothermia, but was treated by the ambulance crew.

"We're trying to figure out how they managed to fit as many people in the small craft," said Mike. "It's a bit like having a re-run of the Krypton Factor!"

The lifeboat was called out a second time to the area a few hours later, but the report of a yacht in difficulty turned out to be a false alarm.

More details of these shouts can be found on the station's website -