RNLI volunteers in North Berwick were kept busy over the weekend with 3 call out

Lifeboats News Release

North Berwick RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew launched 3 times as phase 1 of the lockdown was implemented, allowing water sports to take place

North Berwick Lifeboat with casualties on board, crew wearing facemarks

RNLI/Matt Gibbons

North Berwick Lifeboat returning casualties to safety

The first call for North Berwick RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) in shore lifeboat Evelyn M came at 1150am on Friday (29 May) when the crew were tasked to the assistance of two kayakers on a deflating inflatable kayak. The casualties were able to raise the alarm themselves and make it onto Craigleith Island before the kayak completely deflated, where they were located by the lifeboat A third kayaker in the group was escorted safely back to North Berwick.

The second call out occurred on Friday evening at 8.57pm when concern was raised for a group of paddle boarders approximately 1 mile off Longniddry Bents. The crew were diverted on route to check on a paddle boarder off Gullane, before proceeding to Longniddry where the crew were stood down. North Berwick and Fisherrow Coastguard Rescue teams had been monitoring the casualties who were not in difficulty and made it to shore.


Sea Safety Officer Duncan Barbour said: “These two incidents involved casualties who had listened to safety advice and were well equipped. In the first case, the casualties suffered an unexpected puncture to their craft and quickly called for help. Their ability to call the coastguard and quick thinking in heading for the island undoubtedly prevented the incident from being more serious.”

He advised “that the public thoroughly check your craft and equipment, wear a personal flotation device, have a reliable, waterproofed means of calling for help on your person, tell someone ashore of your planned route and return time and wear suitable clothing as the water is still a cold 10˚C.”

The third call out for the volunteer crew occurred at 1211pm on Saturday (30 May) when the coastguard requested North Berwick lifeboat assist Dunbar lifeboat with a vessel with engine failure off Dunbar Harbour as part of a multi-agency response. North Berwick lifeboat was stood down on route as the situation was resolved.

North Berwick Coastguard Rescue team have been carrying out active coastal patrols and worked alongside lifeboat volunteers throughout the weekend. On Saturday alone HM Coastguard coordinated the response to over 400 incidents around the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland and over 200 lifeboat launches.

Lifeboat Operations Manager Robin Attwood said “As well as following government advice we have strict procedures in place due to the current pandemic. These ensure the safety of our volunteers, casualties, and other emergency services.

The RNLI is a charity that relies on voluntary contributions. The pandemic has seen a substantial drop in fundraising activity, but the service it funds has continued. We ask that members of the public stay in familiar surroundings, follow Scottish Government advice of remaining within five miles of your home and don’t put yourself, your family or emergency services at risk by taking risks. More advise can be found on the RNLI’s website www.rnli.org . Our volunteers remain on call 24/7, in any coastal emergency call 999 and ask for the coastguard.”

RNLI media contacts

Rhona Meikle, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer at North Berwick, 07767 251023, rhona_meikle@rnli.org.uk

Martin Macnamara, RNLI Regional Media Officer for Scotland, 01738 642986, 07920 365929, martin_macnamara@rnli.org.uk

Gemma McDonald, RNLI Regional Media Manager for Scotland, 01738 642956, 07826 900639, gemma_mcdonald@rnli.org.uk

RNLI Press Office, 01202 336789

RNLI online

For more information on the RNLI please visit rnli.org. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI News Centre rnli.org/news-and-media.

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 142,200 lives.

Sun setting whilst NB Lifeboat launches

RNLI/Station Helmet camera

North Berwick lifeboat evening launch

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, in a normal year, 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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

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.

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