RECORD YEAR FOR RNLI KINGHORN
For the record Kinghorn Lifeboat and its volunteer crew have had another busy year.
The first RNLI team to respond to a call-out in the Millennium have just logged their busiest-ever year in 2003.
"Our Atlantic 75, one of the fastest in the RNLI fleet, responded to a record-breaking number of shouts," explained crew member Scott McIlravie, "meaning that we have now consistently broken records year on year since 2000 - 47 in 2001, 50 in 2002 and no fewer than 56 last year.
"This saw us spend almost 90 hours at sea in 2003 on rescues, going to the assistance of 77 people, two of whose lives we saved, and not forgetting two dogs.
"During August," Scott went on, "traditionally our busiest month, saw around a quarter of all the year's rescues taking place.
"Almost half of the shouts were to go to the assistance of boats in trouble - 21 out of the 56 - ranging from towing vessels home to assisting yachts perched precariously on rocks and righting, bailing out and recovering capsized and sinking dinghies with people struggling against the elements.
"Around a fifth of all the call-outs took place at night," he continued, "getting our volunteer crews out of their beds between 10 pm and 7 am, often when they still had to go to work the next day."
On the crew front a recruitment campaign during the summer bolstered falling numbers which were beginning to ring alarm bells very loudly indeed.
"The campaign was an unprecedented success," Scott explained, "and we currently have 14 new volunteers going through their initial year's training.
"This effectively trebled our numbers, with some of the new recruits having already assisted with call-outs, three of them actually taking part in the rescue attempts when two fishermen were reported missing near to the Forth Bridges last month.
"Additionally our annual Open Day last year was also our busiest-ever, raising near than £2000 towards the cost of running the Lifeboat Station. Hopefully we can top even that figure, however, when the 2004 Open Day takes place on Saturday, July 17."
Anyone wanting to keep up to date on the activities of Kinghorn Lifeboat Station can now do so through their own website - www.kinghorn.org.uk - with anyone signed-up to their e-mail newsletter system being updated anytime there is a call-out."