40TH YEAR IN OPERATION LOOKS SET TO BE ONE OF THE BUSIEST
The RNLI lifeboat at Kinghorn has officially been on service covering both the Fife and Edinburgh coastline for 40 years this week.
Each year sees the number of callouts for the lifeboat increasing, reaching over 50 calls per year. With the latest call today (25/06/2005), it now looks as though this will be one of the busiest years so far for the inflatable Atlantic 75 and within 5 calls of reaching its 800th 'shout'.
During the last 40 years the lifeboat has officially 'saved' 346 lives and in 2004 which was 'quiet' for the boat, launched 45 times, helped 62 people and saved 5 lives. The lifeboat spent 86 hours at sea during rescues last year.
This year so far the RNLI lifeboat has amassed 22 callouts and the busiest period doesn't start till July!
The latest call involved the rescue of a 25 foot fishing vessel 'Thee Merlin' which was about 300 metres off Kirkcaldy Esplanade, when it developed engine problems. As the tide was incoming, the vessel could have been pushed into the sea wall and the alarm was raised by the crew, a man in his late 30's with his 10 year old son.
Helmsman Paul Wibberly said, 'We were paged around 5pm by the Coastguard and were told that a boat with engine trouble was off Kirkcaldy Esplanade and had no power. We immediately launched and were on scene with the crippled boat within 10 minutes of the shout. We attached a tow rope to the vessel and towed it back into the safety of Kirkcaldy Harbour.'
The volunteer crew of the lifeboat on this occasion were Paul Wibberly, Mike Chalmers and Leanne Fisher and were launched by Norman Soutar and Charlie Tulloch.