STERN words of warning from coastguard personnel followed a dramatic rescue on Monday in St Monans.
Two men fishing from the pier were rescued after rising tides threatened to sweep them out to sea.
The two were heavily criticised afterwards by Forth District watch manager Simon Smart, who called their actions “foolhardy”.
Anstruther’s all-weather and inshore lifeboats, along with a Leven coastguard vessel, were launched after the alarm was raised around 3.40pm by worried onlookers.
The men were cut off by the heavy seas and looked in danger of being swept out to sea.
Rough waters and a troublsesome south-east wind made conditions difficult, although visibility was reasonably good.
The men were safely transferred to a rescue vessel in about 20 minutes but Mr Smart said the incident should serve as a warning for everyone at this time of year.
“There seemed to be a foolhardy attitude towards the sea conditions,” he said. “Being local people, they should have known better.
“I dont think a lot of people appreciate how cold the water is at this time of year.”
“They put themselves in danger, big style.”
Mr Smart added: “It need not have happened. Other people’s lives were put in potential danger to make sure they were safe. It should not be taken lightly by anybody.
“It could be a beautiful day but, with the swell and waves crashing over the pier, you could lose your footing or be swamped by a wave.
“It may be a nice day – but the sea does not care. It is uncontrollable.”