Kinghorn RNLI Urges Care with Inflatables

Lifeboats News Release

Kinghorn RNLI Lifeboat volunteers are calling on people to take care with inflatable toys following a spate of callouts over the past week.

The inflatable recovered off Portobello on Sunday night (rope attached by Kinghorn RNLI)

Fisherrow CRT

The puffin inflatable

The lifeboat crew has been tasked four times in the past eight days to inflatables being blown offshore, one which had a young child onboard.

The inflatables have blown off beaches at Longniddry, Kirkcaldy, and twice from Portobello.

On Sunday evening, an inflatable puffin was reported drifting off Portobello beach, some 700m offshore. A search was launched with Kinghorn Lifeboat, Fisherrow, North Berwick and Queensferry coastguard rescue teams, and the UK Coastguard rescue helicopter from Prestwick undertaking a 3-hour search. After an extensive search, and following discussion with witnesses on the beach, the search was stood down.

Lifeboat helm, Neil Chalmers said, ‘Due to the incomplete information available, and the possibility of someone being in the water, an extensive search was launched. The coastguard will always err on the side of caution.

‘These inflatable toys are not suitable for use at the beach and we would urge parents not to take them to the beach. If you do choose to take them to the beach, these toys should be securely tethered to the shore, and they should certainly not be used when the wind is blowing away from the beach.

‘These toys are easily blown by the wind and can quickly move offshore, particularly with young children. The young girl at Longniddry had a lucky escape but had to be checked out by an ambulance crew once she made it back to shore.

‘If you spot an inflatable drifting at sea, or one you are using gets blown away, you should report it to the Coastguard on 999 immediately, giving as much information as possible. This will mean the toy can be recovered and prevent a larger search being launched.’

Notes to editors

  • Kinghorn lifeboat station has been operating since 1965. To learn more about the lifeboat station go to
  • Attached photos show the inflatables recovered. The puffin from Sunday night at Portobello and the flamingo from Portobello on Friday.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Neil Chalmers, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07767 380274 or or Henry Weaver or Gemma McDonald on 01738 642956 or contact RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789
Kinghorn crew with inflatable flamingo

RNLI/Neil Chalmers

Kinghorn crew with flamingo

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