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Two callouts in one day for Dunbar lifeboat volunteers

Lifeboats News Release

Dunbar’s RNLI volunteers were called out twice yesterday (Tuesday 28 November) in rough conditions.

ILB seen exiting Dunbar Harbour.

RNLI/Douglas Wight

The inshore lifeboat launches from Dunbar Harbour.

The inshore lifeboat (ILB) launched at 3.50pm following a report of a person entering the water at Belhaven Bay.

Then, at 8pm, the all-weather lifeboat (ALB) launched from Torness Power Station after a fishing boat had become tail-tied and was under tow five miles east of Eyemouth.

In the earlier incident, the crew were stood down while on route after Dunbar’s coastguard team established the person in question was a surfer and in no need of assistance.

However, the all-weather lifeboat crew spent 12 hours in challenging conditions after launching for the 17m trawler whose propeller had become entangled in its own nets. The trawler was being towed towards Anstruther, in Fife, by another fishing vessel and had been escorted by RNLI’s Eyemouth lifeboat since around 4pm. After Eyemouth lifeboat requested relief at 8pm, HM Coastguard tasked Dunbar. The ALB launched from Torness Power Station, arriving on scene, five miles east of Eyemouth, 40 minutes later.

The RNLI volunteers were initially tasked to remain on standby while the vessels made slow progress due to the rough sea. However, at 4.45am on Wednesday, after the tow lines between the boats had parted several times and following a request from the towing vessel, the decision was made that the Dunbar crew would pick up the tow. They towed the vessel to the Isle of May, where the RNLI’s Anstruther lifeboat took over at 6.30am. It was after 8am when the volunteers returned to Torness.

Dunbar coxswain Gary Fairbairn said: ‘The conditions were very challenging, with a 25-knot wind and four-metre waves. Credit to the crew, as some of them had never faced those conditions before, but they all did an excellent job in the circumstances.’

Notes to editors

Established in 1808, 16 years before the formation of the RNLI, Dunbar Lifeboat Station is one of the oldest in Scotland and is located on the south side of the mouth of the Firth of Forth. Since its formation, its volunteer crews have been honoured with 12 awards for gallantry.

It operates two lifeboats – the Trent class all-weather lifeboat (ALB) John Neville Taylor, moored at Torness Power Station, and the D-class inshore lifeboat (ILB) David Lauder, which launches from Dunbar Harbour.

RNLI media contacts

Douglas Wight, Dunbar RNLI volunteer 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 (available 24hrs), 01202 336789. [email protected]

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

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.