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Queensferry RNLI paged as Ex Tropical Storm Alex churns the Firth of Forth

Lifeboats News Release

An upturned canoe and personal locator beacon alert sparked multi agency searches on Saturday 11 June.

Charity lifeboat and its crew head into the stormy conditions to search for upturned canoe, the Forth road bridge is in the background.

RNLI/Queensferry RNLI

Charity lifeboat and its crew head into the stormy conditions to search for upturned canoe

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'.


Photo credit

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]

Natasha Bennett, RNLI Regional Media Officer for Scotland, 07826 900639, [email protected]

Martin Macnamara, RNLI Regional Media Manager for Scotland, 07920 365929, [email protected]

RNLI Press Office, 01202 336789

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 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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

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