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RNLI lifeguards in Fife assist in rescue of five from car

Lifeboats News Release

At around 3:40 this afternoon (21 July 2016) RNLI lifeguards at Burntisland in Fife assisted five people when their car fell from the promenade into the water.

Senior lifeguard Kayleigh Reid (22) and lifeguard Vicki Reid (19), who are sisters, were on patrol in Burntisland when they heard a revving engine followed by a splash. They realised that a car had fallen about two metres from the promenade and into the water.

Vicki paddled over on a rescue board and was quickly on scene. Kayleigh arrived moments later having swum the 250 metres and radioed the Coastguard at the same time.

Queesnferry RNLI lifeboat was also sent to assist with the incident by the Coastguard.

A man, 56, was having trouble freeing himself from the vehicle because of a leg brace he was wearing, two members of the public were already helping him and he was further assisted to the shore on the lifeguards rescue board.

Three other female occupants of the vehicle aged 10, 13 and 14 had already made their way to shore and one other female, 14, had managed to get out of the vehicle before it fell from the promenade.

Members of the public helped the man up the steps to a grassy area where he was reunited with the other occupants of the vehicle.

Once all the casualties were safe, lifeguards assessed their condition and one of the casualties was given oxygen due to concerns about her rate of breathing.

The girl who had escaped the vehicle before it entered the water had scraped her leg, her injury was treated by lifeguards.

All the casualties were cold and in shock, they were given warm, dry clothes and taken into the lifeguard unit where their condition began to improve.

Police and an ambulance soon arrived on scene and the casualties were taken into the care of the paramedics.

Senior lifeguard Kayleigh Reed said ‘It was a shock to see the car in the water like that but we were able to react quickly, provide assistance and call for back-up from the lifeboat and other agencies. Credit must also go to members of the public who did a great deal to help. We’re just really pleased everyone is safe and well.’

RNLI lifeguard manager Tim Doran said ‘This is only the second year that we’ve had RNLI lifeguards on beaches in Fife. I’m really pleased with the way our lifeguards and members of the public reacted to ensure the safety of everyone involved in this incident.’

Queensferry RNLI lifeboat was launched by the coastguard to assist with the incident and a Coastguard helicopter (Rescue 999) was also tasked but then stood down.

The RNLI are working in partnership with Scottish Borders and the Fife Coast Countryside Trust to provide lifeguard services.

Video (credit RNLI/Queesnferry)

Video taken from Queensferry lifeboat shows the car in the water which is just visible below the surface.

RNLI media contacts

Henry Weaver, RNLI Press Officer for Scotland, 01738 642986, 07771 943026, [email protected]

Richard Smith, RNLI Public Relations Manager for Scotland, 01738 642956, 07786 668903, [email protected]

RNLI Press Office, 01202 336789

Notes to editors

The RNLI encourages anyone planning a trip to the beach to follow these top tips:

1. Wherever possible swim at a lifeguarded beach and always swim between the red and yellow flags.
2. Never use inflatables in strong winds or rough seas.
3. Check tide times before you go.
4. If you get into trouble, stick your hand in the air and shout for help.
5. If you see someone else in trouble, tell a lifeguard. If you can’t see a lifeguard, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.

For more information visit

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.