Queensferry RNLI paged as Ex Tropical Storm Alex churns the Firth of Forth
An upturned canoe and personal locator beacon alert sparked multi agency searches on Saturday 11 June.
Queensferry RNLI were tasked by the UK Coastguard at 1:45pm to search for an upturned canoe sighted off Blackness Castle. The charity’s lifeboat Jimmie Cairncross launched straight into the choppy sea and blustering winds to search the river. The poor conditions caused by the tropical storm made visibility for the crew extremely challenging as they were facing a constant stream of sea spray in their faces. The local Coastguard teams were able to establish that no one was in danger and the stray canoe had detached itself from its location due to the high winds.
The volunteer lifeboat crew were retasked immediately after to a PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) activation alert near Grangemouth. The crew headed further west into the weather to commence a search for a possible person in the water. They were joined by the UK Coastguard helicopter and land based teams. The search area took the RNLI volunteer crew as far west as the Kincardine Bridge, and east to Blackness. The owner of the PLB made contact with the UK Coastguard, with reports that all was safe and well and it was set off in an error. The lifeboat was stood down and was able to return back to its station at the Hawes Pier, South Queensferry.
Julie, RNLI Trainee Helm for Queensferry RNLI, said:
‘We urge owners to regularly check their lines and secure any lose items down, as the weather can change quickly.
'Label craft with your contact details, so if found alone it can be ascertained quickly the action we need to take.
'The owner of the PLB performed the correct action and notified the Coastguard they were safe and well'.
The attached photo shows Queensferry RNLI lifeboat Jimmie Cairncross launching on service Saturday afternoon head on into ex Tropical Storm Alex (11 June). Credit RNLI/Queensferry Lifeboat Station.
Notes to editors
Queensferry RNLI is based on the Hawes Pier, Queensferry EH30 9TB. The lifeboat station was founded in 1967 and the volunteer crew use an inshore Atlantic 85 B-Class lifeboat Jimmie Cairncross.
RNLI media contacts
Julie Dominguez, Lifeboat Press Officer, [email protected]
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RNLI Press Office, 01202 336789
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