News Articles

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution - Saves Lives at Sea



Kinghorn Lifeboat was called out tonight (29/08/04) after a 65 foot fishing vessel with seven passengers and crew ran aground at Port Seton.

The Lifeboat was launched at 6.45pm after Forth Coastguard received a distress call from the stranded boat. The voluntary crew of the Lifeboat was launched with Helmsmen Mike McErlane and Scott McIlravie, along with crew members Darren Maddison and Neil Chalmers.

The crew faced a rough crossing of the Forth to reach the vessel, as there was a two to three metre swell and a force 6 wind at the time.

Crewman Darren Maddison commented, " It was a fairly bumpy crossing as there were some large waves to negotiate, unfortunately there is no shelter once you leave Kinghorn Bay and you have to rely on the skill of the Helmsman to ensure you arrive quickly but safely."

Helmsman Scott McIlravie added," We knew that we had to cross the Forth to assist the stricken vessel, and it was a fairly rough crossing. We were notified that the "St. Britwin" travelling from Eyemouth to Cockenzie for scheduled maintenance, had run aground about 50 metres from the harbour at Port Seton, and its stern was taking the brunt of the waves, but although it was taking on water, the pumping system was working."

"Because it was such a rough crossing, it was about 7.10pm before we arrived and were able to assist the passengers and crew. There were 3 women and 4 men on board and one of the woman was suffering from shock and severe sea sickness."

"We managed to help anchor the vessel so that it would withstand the battering of the waves until it was ready to be refloated and we transferred passengers and crew to safety. The ill lady was treated by paramedics at the harbour."

"We returned to Kinghorn around 8.30pm and will re-launch at 11pm to return and stand-by the vessel, along with Anstruther lifeboat, in case there are engine problems as it could easily run onto rocks which are about 20 feet away on either side of it. So we will just be ensuring that the boat refloats and is able to make its own way into port. As it is such a large vessel. it will need the power of Anstruther Lifeboat, should it require a tow in weather such as this."

The crew were launched by the Shore party of Ian McLean and Joanne Wibberly, who will also have to remain on duty until the lifeboat returns to station at the end of this long 'shout'.