Kinghorn lifeboat volunteers were called on to rescue a woman from the water south of Inchkeith Island on Saturday morning.
A small sailing dinghy had been sailing south of Inchkeith when it got into difficulty with three people on board, including a nine year old girl.
A female member of the crew from West Lothian had fallen overboard and was found clinging to the stern of the striken boat when the lifeboat arrived on scene around seven minutes after launch, just before 10.30am.
Scott McIlravie, helmsman, said: “Communications between us and the casualty were difficult, although they thankfully had a VHF radio on board so we were able to use our direction finding equipment to quickly locate the boat which was around half a mile south of the island.
“We quickly assessed the situation on arrival and found a female in the water clinging to the back of the dinghy. One of our team jumped into the water to get hold of her, and she was then brought to safety on the lifeboat.
“The second crew member on the boat was a young girl and she was also taken onto the lifeboat to be taken back to Kinghorn where an ambulance was waiting to assess both casualties.
“Both casualties were cold and distressed, with the woman who had been in the water suffering from the early stages of hypothermia.
“The sailing dinghy then made its way back towards Portobello, escorted back, for safety, by a Police Scotland boat which was working in the area.
“It was fortunate that this vessel had a VHF radio on board today. There was very little chance that the woman would have got back onboard the dinghy today without third party assistance. Since the vessel was able to call for assistance immediately, and we were then able to find the boat quickly, this lady fortunately had a very lucky escape.
“We would always recommend that, prior to making a trip to sea that you check the weather forecast, make sure you have the correct level of experience on board for the prevailing conditions, and that you have the correct type of properly fitting protective clothing.”
The RNLI has recently launched a campaign call ‘Respect The Water,’ an initiative to reduce the number of drownings and fatalities around the UK coast. Between 2010 and 2013 the most common cause of fatality for yacht sailors was man overboard. Further information and guidance is available on the RNLI website and social media.
The crew on the shout were Scott McIlravie, Neil Chalmers, Kenny Davidson, Robert Rutherford, and Steve Robinson.