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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution - Saves Lives at Sea



The RNLI lifeboat at Kinghorn was called out to rescue one man and his dog, who were trapped on rocks near to Cockenzie Power Station earlier this afternoon. (16/05/05)

The lifeboat crew were paged to the rescue around 1.50pm, following reports to the Coastguard of the stranded man. The crew of Paul Wibberly, Keith Hay and Neil Chalmers made their way across the Firth of Forth to reach the man, arriving within 15 minutes of the initial call out.

Crewman Keith Hay continued the story, 'When we arrived on the scene we saw that the man was stranded on the rocks with his dog, under the breakwater. The wind was blowing the waves into a 3 foot swell at Cockenzie and the tide was just starting to come in, so we arrived in the nick of time.'

'It was a fairly difficult rescue because the waves were coming in at a 45 degree angle and because of all the rocks we were unable to take the lifeboat directly into the man without being in danger of causing damage. We decided to use a technique which we carry out regularly in training which is known as 'veering down'. Basically we drop the anchor and manoeuvre ourselves in reverse, along our anchor rope until we can reach the casualty.'

'It worked like a dream and I jumped into the water and put the dog, a 3 year old Staffordshire Terrier called Marley, into the lifeboat and although his owner was up to his knees in water, we managed to assist the man in his 20's aboard the lifeboat. He was quite cold and told us that his dog had been on the breakwater wall and had jumped over, so he had jumped over after it, to save it, but couldn't get back out.'

'We took the casualty back to the slipway where ambulance staff checked him over and confirmed he was fine. We were back at Kinghorn and ready for service by 3pm.'