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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution - Saves Lives at Sea

FIVE LIVES SAVED IN TWO SINKING BOAT DRAMAS IN FORTH

01/04/2006

The arrival of the Spring holiday has sparked off the usual spate of callouts for the volunteers of Scotland's busiest RNLI Inshore Lifeboat. RNLI Kinghorn lifeboat had a record 57 rescue missions last year. Five Lives were saved in the Forth today in two dramatic rescues 3 by the lifeboat and two by a passing boat.

In its second callout of the day, RNLI's Kinghorn Lifeboat was called into an immediate launch around 7.40pm tonight (Saturday 1/04/06) after a 14 foot motorboat 'Doodlebug' sent a mayday message to HM Coastguard reporting that he was taking on water and required immediate assistance.

Volunteer Crewman Neil Chalmers said of the rescue, "The stricken vessel was a quarter of a mile off the ash lagoons near to Musselburgh. Updates during the dash across the Forth were relayed from the Coastguard who were in communication with the owner by mobile phone and who reported that the situation on board the speedboat was 'critical'. We knew the RNLI lifeboat was in a desperate race against time to save the lives of the 3 crew from musselburgh and edinburgh."

"It took us almost 20 minutes at full speed, to make the crossing from Kinghorn to Musselburgh and to arrive in time to rescue the crew from the vessel and we thereafter took them on board, just as the vessel sunk. Thankfully the crew were none the worse for their ordeal, but thanked us warmley for arriving in the nick of time. The owner had only just fitted a GPS system and it was because of that he was able to relay an accurate location, which allowed us to head straight for his location rather than having to search for it which might have been too late!"

"This was our second call out today, the earlier call in the afternoon was for another vessel which had sunk at Mortimer's Deep. We were called out to the 24 ft creel fishing boat 'Rachael Ruth' that had already sunk in the shipping channel off Inchcolm Island. Fortunately for the 2 crew, a 4 metre Rib "TORNADO 2" was nearby and rescued the two men and took them ashore to Dalgety Bay Sailing Club. When the lifeboat arrived on scene, the crew made a medical assessment of the two men, and requested an ambulance since one of the men was very hypothermic. The lifeboat then left the men in the care of the Coastguard and surveyed the area in which the boat had sunk for debris and fuel leakage, before heading home."

The volunteer crews who attended the two 'shouts' were Helmsmen Keith Hay and Paul Wibberly along with Crewmen Mike Chalmers, Phil Smythe, Neil Chalmers and Shore crew Ian McLean.

The RNLI would take this opportunity to remind boat owners to check over their boats and have them serviced prior to taking to the water, advice is available through a free SEACheck service from the RNLI.