Dunbar Lifeboat rescues casualty after spotting boat in trouble
Dunbar’s RNLI volunteers rescued a small boat taking on water and struggling in choppy conditions near the town’s East Beach yesterday (Saturday 12 October).
The D-class inshore lifeboat (ILB) was originally tasked just after 4pm after a swimmer was spotted in difficulty near the beach. However, after the swimmer was reported to have come ashore unaided, the crew were about to be stood down when they spotted a small boat struggling to make progress in 2.5 metre waves and blustery conditions.
The 56-year-old owner of the Rigid Raider craft had set off from Cove at 1pm and was heading to Dunbar Harbour when his primary engine failed. He was continuing on a smaller second engine when the crew intercepted him half a mile off East Beach. At first the volunteers escorted the boat but the second engine soon failed – and with the vessel taking on water and in danger of drifting onto rocks – they took the casualty on board the ILB, protected him from the elements and towed the vessel into Dunbar Harbour.
ILB helm Alan Blair said: ‘Fortunately, we were in the right place at the right time. He was very lucky. By the time his second engine failed he was taking on a lot of water and might not have been able to raise the alarm before going onto rocks. If that had happened it could have been a very different scenario, like a water rescue or possibly a recovery.’
The casualty was taken ashore around 5.20pm where a waiting ambulance crew treated him for hypothermia.
By 6pm the ILB was refuelled and ready for its next service.
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.
Photo 1: Dunbar RNLI volunteers spotted the boat in trouble after being tasked following a report of a swimmer in difficulty.
Photo 2: The ILB crew moved quickly to rescue the casualty and set up a tow line when the boat’s second engine failed.
Photo 3: The Rigid Raider craft had taken on a lot of water after being hit by 2.5m waves.
Photo 4: The ILB entering Dunbar Harbour towing the Rigid Raider boat (photo: Ian Wilson).
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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