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North Berwick RNLI launch to recreational fishing vessel with engine failure

Lifeboats News Release

Volunteer RNLI lifeboat crew from North Berwick launched to the aid of a 5.5m recreational fishing vessel which had suffered engine failure off North Berwick on Tuesday (11 July) afternoon.

The skipper called for help after their primary engine failed to start and the auxiliary engine was unreliable. They anchored whilst awaiting for assistance which initially came in the form of a local tour boat operating from the Scottish Seabird Centre which took the casualty vessel under tow.

RNLI volunteers launched at 2.23pm and took over the tow once on scene, bringing the casualty vessel safely into a mooring in the west bay, North Berwick. The skipper was then brought ashore where they were met by North Berwick Coastguard Rescue Team.

John McCarter, volunteer helm at North Berwick Lifeboat said:

'Although you may have the qualifications, experience and take all precautions, at sea the situation and conditions can rapidly change. You need to be able to call for help.'

'On a vessel, your best option is a VHF radio which you can use to contact the coastguard on channel 16. This can also help to alert nearby vessels who might be able to help.'

'At the very least you should have a mobile phone in a waterproof pouch so that you can dial 999 for the Coastguard.'

Waterproof phone pouches are readily available online or from North Berwick’s RNLI shop, staffed by volunteers and open 10am-5pm every day this summer.

North Berwick RNLI will host a fundraising Open Day on Saturday, 29 July, 11am-4pm where the public will be able to climb aboard our D Class Inshore Lifeboat, Evelyn M and meet our mascot Stormy Stan with live music and fundraising stalls throughout the day.

Notes to editors

  • In 2022 RNLI lifeboats from 238 stations across the UK and RoI launched 9,312 times saving 389 lives, RNLI Lifeguards saved a further 117 lives.
  • It cost £1,400 a year to train each crew member in the lifesaving skills they need to answer the call for help
  • 97% of the RNLI’s frontline lifesavers are volunteers including over 5,700 lifeboat crew members.
  • In 2022 it cost the RNLI £188M to run it’s charitable lifesaving service, 6 in 10 of the lifeboat launches were funded be generous supporters leaving the RNLI a gift in their will.
  • Library footage and images of North Berwick RNLI are available on request, please use the contacts below.

RNLI media contacts

Matthew Gibbons, Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer, North Berwick, [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]
24 hour RNLI Central Press Office, 01202 336789 or email [email protected]



Crew members on the TNLI lifeboat during an alongside tow

RNLI/North Berwick

North Berwick RNLI tow a broken down recreational fishing vessel

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.

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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