Kinghorn Lifeboat helps save two lives in Forth

Kinghorn’s RNLI lifeboat helped to save the lives of two men whose boat capsized in the River Forth at the weekend.

The men had been sailing a dinghy off the coast of Portobello in Edinburgh when it suffered suspected equipment failure causing the mast to fail. The boat then capsized throwing both sailors into the water.

Pic: Kinghorn RNLI

Pic: Kinghorn RNLI

Members of the public called 999 from the beach after seeing the boat getting into difficulty at 1.05pm on Sunday, approximately 300m from the shore.

Kinghorn lifeboat was contacted by the Aberdeen Coastguard to attend the incident and it arrived on the scene at 1.21pm.

Mark Brown, the lifeboat helmsman, said: “Our task was to one person in the water off Portobello, but while en-route to Portobello, further information was received advising that there were two casualties on the upturned hull of a dinghy.

“On arrival, we pulled both male casualties into the lifeboat and took them ashore where Fisherrow Coastguard Rescue team personnel assisted.

“One casualty had swallowed a lot of water and was very cold, but the second sailor was able to assist in the recovery of the dinghy.

“Weather conditions were good, but there was a heavy 1-2 metre swell running due to the easterly wind we are experiencing just now. This made it difficult whilst taking the casualties ashore.

“The casualties were well equipped for inshore sailing but they didn’t have a radio or mobile phone onboard; they were fortunate in this instance that members of the public called 999 to launch a rescue mission.

“We would always recommend that people are properly prepared before taking to the water, especially on exposed areas, such as the Forth. Equipment should include lifejackets, a VHF radio, flares, and suitable all-weather waterproof clothing.

“The RNLI is currently running a campaign called ‘Respect the Water’ to raise awareness of coastal risks, and reduce the number of fatalities around the coast of the UK and Ireland. Between 2010 and 2015, there were 24 fatalities in the UK during sailing activities, mainly due to sailors ending up in the water.”

The Kinghorn lifeboat crew was Mark Brown, Kenny Davidson, Megan Davidson, Paul Stather, and Steve Robinson.