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A lucky escape for four young paddle boarders

Lifeboats News Release

On Saturday 6 April at 3.45pm Buckie RNLI were tasked to launch by Aberdeen Coastguard following a report of two paddle-boarders in the waters off of Cullen Bay

Graham Campbell

As Buckie’s all-weather lifeboat launched the situation quickly changed and the lifeboat crew were now searching for four casualties near local landmark, Bow Fiddle Rock.

Heading into strong south-easterly winds, gusting at 40 knots, the crew knew this shout was time critical.

RNLI lifeboat William Blannin arrived on scene in around ten minutes and the crew quickly located the first two youngsters who had luckily managed to stay on their paddleboard. The girls were pulled to safety and the search continued for the remaining pair who were believed to be in the water.

After only a few minutes the second pair were spotted, and the boat made pace to their location, successfully recovering two very cold and very relieved youngsters.

Having been in the cold water for over 20 minutes wearing only wetsuits, the casualties were assessed and warmed up by the crew’s casualty carers before being checked over at the lifeboat station by waiting Scottish Ambulance crews. Thankfully all four casualties were given the all clear and sent home safely to their waiting families.

Anne Scott, Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘The RNLI urges people to check the weather forecast carefully before venturing out on the water, especially when paddle boarding. Avoid offshore winds as you can easily be blown out to sea very quickly and offshore winds will tire you quickly when trying to return to shore. Always wear a personal floatation device and suitable clothing for the forecasted conditions and always carry a means of calling for help.’

The parent of one of the young people also expressed their gratitude for the crew's help: 'As a family we want to express our profound gratitude to the RNLI team. Their swift action undoubtedly averted a tragedy, and we cannot thank them enough.

'Buckie RNLI exemplified compassion and professionalism throughout this ordeal, and we will forever be indebted to them for bringing our loved ones home safely. Our hope is that our story, though traumatising on many levels, will serve as a cautionary tale and prevent others from facing similar dangers. Thank you to each and everyone involved in the rescue.'

Notes to editors

· Buckie lifeboat station has been operating since 1860. To learn more about the lifeboat station go to:

RNLI media contacts

Lorna Cameron, Lifeboat Press Officer, 07792799137, [email protected]

Natasha Bennett, RNLI Regional Communications Manager for Scotland, 07826 900639, [email protected]

Tom McGuire, RNLI Regional Communications Manager for Scotland and Ireland, 00353 87 476 4436, [email protected]

Martin Macnamara, RNLI Regional Communications Lead for Scotland, 07920 365929, [email protected]

RNLI Press Office, 01202 336789

Graham Campbell

Graham Campbell

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.