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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution - Saves Lives at Sea



Kinghorn RNLI Lifeboat volunteers had a busy start to spring, with two callouts on Sunday.

The pagers first sounded at 03.38am in the morning, following reports of a boat adrift off Musselburgh. The boat was launched to investigate, but on arrival, could not get close due to the state of the tide. The lifeboat returned to station, to await the next high tide at lunchtime. The crew then relaunched around 11am to assist with recovery of the vessel, but whilst travelling to the scene, it was confirmed that the vessel’s owner had managed to secure it.

The second callout came on Sunday afternoon around 3.30pm when the lifeboat was called to assist with the evacuation of a 14 year old boy who had a suspected fractured ankle on rocks at Blair Point, Dysart.

The area of the incident was surrounded with steep slopes and large slippery boulders, which made an extraction by land potentially hazardous. Ambulance personnel requested evacuation by sea, but on arrival of the lifeboat, it decided that a helicopter evacuation would be the safest option. The Coastguard helicopter, Rescue 999, arrived on scene at 5.30pm and winched the casualty before transferring to Victoria hospital.

Lifeboat helmsman, Mark Brown, said, ‘we’ve had a quiet start to 2016 with only one other callout so far, but a very busy first day of spring with two callouts on one day.

‘Both calls offered different challenges for the crew. The second call to the injured boy was challenging due to its location. We had to carefully approach the shore, and two crewmembers had to swim the last 30m with equipment and clamber up the rocks. This in itself showed that evacuation by lifeboat would be very difficult, so the helicopter was requested.

‘On the beach our crew worked with the Scottish Ambulance paramedic, and the Leven and St Andrews Coastguard Rescue Teams to move the boy a short distance in a stretcher, to a suitable area for winching.

‘This was an excellent example of teamwork with the three organisations working together on the beach for a successful outcome.

‘The casualty was then winched into the new S92 helicopter, undertaking its first service call with Kinghorn RNLI, since it took over from the Royal Navy in January.

The lifeboat then returned to station. Crewmembers involved on each call included Mark Brown, Mike Chalmers, Kenny Davidson, Paul Stather, Steve Robinson, Neil Chalmers, Megan Davidson and Carl Pickering.