RNLI Queensferry saves two from incoming tide on rocks

Lifeboats News Release

On 2 April 2017 the volunteer crew at RNLI Queensferry Lifeboat were paged at 2.53pm to two persons cut off by an incoming tide on the Birnie Rocks, and already ankle deep in water.

The Inshore Lifeboat (ILB) Jimmie Cairncross was launched with four crew members on board and made best speed to the area, finding the casualties were stranded in a location that is very difficult to access due to dangerous rocks just below the surface. By this time the tide had continued to rise and the casualties were now thigh-deep in the water and increasingly distressed. The ILB had to proceed with extreme caution to get close enough to recover the two persons into the Lifeboat, and upon reaching them one crew member entered the water to assist them with getting aboard.

Once safely aboard the ILB, the crew fitted the casualties with lifejackets and withdrew carefully from the challenging position, then proceeding to Granton Harbour where local Coastguard and an ambulance were waiting to receive them and check them over.

Thankfully these casualties were able to be rescued, but this situation could have ended very differently. Incoming tides can cut you off from the shore extremely quickly and it is essential to be aware of tidal times and your changing surroundings when at the coast.

The ILB had returned to station and just been recovered when the crew were paged again, this time to persons cut off by the tide and in the water on the causeway at Cramond Island. The lifeboat once again launched and made best speed to Cramond, but thankfully the casualties had been able to make their way safely ashore by the time the ILB was on scene.

These were RNLI Queensferry’s 14th and 15th shouts so far of 2017. In 2016 Queensferry was the RNLI’s busiest Inshore Lifeboat Station in Scotland, as well as Scotland’s busiest single boat station, with 65 launches and 113 people assisted.

The RNLI is using these rescue statistics to ask the public to make safety a priority, whether that means wearing a lifejacket, checking their vessel before they go afloat, knowing they should call 999 and ask for the Coastguard in the event of an emergency, checking the tide times before they set out, or staying away from cliff edges and unstable coastal paths.

Will Stephens, the RNLI’s Head of Lifesaving, said:

‘Once again we are extremely grateful for the dedication shown by our lifesavers. Our volunteer lifeboat crews spent over 228,869 hours at sea last year, but we really do see our rescue service as a last resort.

‘We’d really like to see people paying more attention to safety messages and giving the water the healthy respect it deserves. While we will always answer the call for help, myself and everyone within the RNLI would like to see people staying safer at the coast.’

RNLI Media Contacts: Arabella Kuszynska-Shields

RNLI Queensferry Lifeboat Press Officer

Tel: 07502379438

Email: arabella_kuszynski-shields@rnli.org.uk

Queensferry Lifeboat Station, Hawes Pier, Hawes Brae, South Queensferry, Edinburgh, EH30 9TB

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