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Two Lives Saved in Forth

Lifeboats News Release

Kinghorn RNLI lifeboat crew saved the lives of two men in the Firth of Forth on Sunday afternoon, after their dinghy capsized off Portobello.

The dinghy had been sailing off the Edinburgh town when they suffered suspected equipment failure causing the mast to fail. The boat then capsized throwing both male sailors into the water.
Members of the public called 999 from the beach after seeing the boat getting into difficulty around 1.05pm, and approximately 300m offshore. Kinghorn lifeboat was tasked by Aberdeen Coastguard, arriving on scene at 1.21pm.
Lifeboat helm, Mark Brown, said, ‘Our tasking was to one person in the water off Portobello. Whilst en-route to Portobello, further information was received advising that there were two casualties on the upturned hull of a dinghy.
‘On arrival, we pulled both male casualties into the lifeboat and took them ashore where Fisherrow Coastguard Rescue team personnel assisted.
‘One casualty had swallowed a lot of water and was very cold, but the second sailor was able to assist in the recovery of the dinghy.
‘Weather conditions were good, but there was a heavy 1-2m swell running due to the easterly wind we are experiencing just now. This made it difficult whilst taking the casualties ashore.
‘The casualties were well equipped for inshore sailing but they didn’t have a radio or mobile phone onboard; they were fortunate in this instance that members of the public called 999 to launch a rescue mission.
‘We would always recommend that people are properly prepared before taking to the water, especially on exposed areas, such as the Forth. Equipment should include lifejackets, a VHF radio, flares, and suitable all-weather waterproof clothing.
‘The RNLI is currently running a campaign called ‘Respect the Water’ to raise awareness of coastal risks, and reduce the number of fatalities around the coast of the UK and Ireland. Between 2010 and 2015, there were 24 fatalities in the UK during sailing activities, mainly due to sailors ending up in the water.’
Kinghorn lifeboat crew was Mark Brown, Kenny Davidson, Megan Davidson, Paul Stather, and Steve Robinson.
Notes to editors
  • Kinghorn lifeboat station has been operating since 1965. To learn more about the lifeboat station go to
  • Photo graphs show the vessel being recovered. 
  • Video footage will be available shortly.
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For more information please telephone Neil Chalmers, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07767 380274 or or Richard Smith on 07786 668903 or at Henry Weaver on 07771 943026 or at or contact RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789.

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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