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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution - Saves Lives at Sea



Kinghorn RNLI Lifeboat volunteers were called out on Sunday to assist their colleagues from Dunbar with the berthing of a 66 foot yacht in Leith docks.

Dunbar lifeboat towed the yacht in from east of the Bass Rock in poor weather conditions after its engine failed. The yacht had begun taking water around 4am and an RAF helicopter had winched two pumps onboard.

The large sailing vessel requested a tow into Leith when the engine failed in Force 5/6 westerly winds. Dunbar lifeboat towed the vessel to Leith but requested the assistance of Kinghorn lifeboat to berth the vessel which weighed over 40 tonnes. Kinghorn were requested to act as a tug and help with manoeuvring of the boat.

Kinghorn lifeboat launched into moderate seas and made their way to Leith, arriving less than ten minutes after launch.

Helmsman Neil Chalmers said, ‘we passed a tow line to the stern of the yacht and we were tasked with acting as the ‘brake’ as the yacht was towed into Leith lock by the all weather lifeboat from Dunbar.

‘We entered Leith docks through the lock and then assisted Dunbar lifeboat with moving the vessel to a suitable berth. Due to the size of the boat and strong winds we assisted with pushing and pulling both boats in the confines of the harbour.

‘This was an interesting shout for both crews and a good example of teamwork. We worked together well, and it’s testament to the quality of the RNLI’s training programmed that the two crews were able to successfully and efficiently berth this yacht.’

The crew on this occasion were Neil Chalmers, Megan Davidson and Kenny Davidson. The lifeboat was launched by tractor driver Brian Crow.