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Dunbar lifeboats called out after report that swimmers were in danger

Lifeboats News Release

Dunbar RNLI launched both lifeboats yesterday (Sunday 3 September) amid concerns four teenage swimmers were in danger of being swept out to sea at Belhaven Bay.

D-class lifeboat launching taken from helmet camera, showing Dunbar Castle.

RNLI/Douglas Wight

Dunbar ILB launching from Dunbar Harbour.

Following a call from a member of the public to HM Coastguard, the D-class inshore lifeboat (ILB) launched from Dunbar Harbour at around 6.10pm and arrived on scene moments later. The volunteer crew found the swimmers were safe and in no need of assistance.

The all-weather lifeboat (ALB) launched from Torness Power Station but was soon stood down.

ILB helm Gordon Kirkham said: ‘We quickly spotted the swimmers and determined they were not in danger and were relatively close to shore. Although it was windy, it was blowing across the beach rather than directly offshore. Ultimately this was a false alarm with good intent but the caller did the right thing by phoning the coastguard.

‘In hot weather it’s tempting to cool off and the RNLI advises all open water swimmers to take a buddy, let someone on shore know your plans and take a means of calling for help. It is advisable to wear a wetsuit and a brightly coloured hat to be seen, choose your spot carefully and check weather and tides and acclimatise slowly when you enter the water to avoid cold water shock.

‘If that happens, remember to Float to Live by lying on your back, tilting your head back and breathe normally, using your hands and legs to help you stay afloat until the shock passes.’

The ILB returned to Dunbar Harbour where it was refuelled and made ready for 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.

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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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.