RNLI Queensferry saves two from incoming tide on rocks
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
Queensferry Lifeboat Station, Hawes Pier, Hawes Brae, South Queensferry, Edinburgh, EH30 9TB
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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Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.
The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland