Fishermen rescued by North Berwick lifeboat crew

North Berwick lifeboat.'P:hoto courtesy of Paul Burke

North Berwick lifeboat.'P:hoto courtesy of Paul Burke

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North Berwick lifeboat raced to the rescue yesterday afternoon (Thursday) after two fishermen ended up in the water after their boat capsized.

The volunteer crew immediately launched the lifeboat at 1.30pm and raced to the East Bay, North Berwick.

After a brief search of the area the crew located one of the casualties who was holding onto a loose buoy and fuel can to keep him afloat. The lifeboat picked the casualty up and quickly established that the second casualty, with a life jacket, had managed to swim ashore.

It transpired that the fishermen had been winching up a lobster pot when it became stuck on the bottom, a wave then hit the boat causing it to capsize and then sink within seconds, throwing the crew into the sea.

The pair, who had spent up to 20 minutes in the sea, were checked over by the Scottish Ambulance Service, warmed up and were able to return home.

Helmsman Niall Grant said: “The quick response from all involved, including the actions of two members of the public in an inflatable, helped create this positive outcome from what was potentially a very serious incident.”

Sea Safety Officer Duncan Barbour said: “Life jackets save lives, and they really are useless unless worn. To be effective they need to be worn by all at all times on the water as when trouble arises there may not be time to grab one and put it on.”

If members of the public see someone in difficulty on the sea or beach they should call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is a charity and rescues such as this are only possible due to dedicated volunteer crew members and generous public donations. North Berwick lifeboat crew are holding their annual fund-raising fete day on Saturday, August 2, at Elcho Green from 1pm. Raffle tickets can be bought in advance from the RNLI Shop at North Berwick.

This was the second call out in four days for the crew who were also called out to investigate reports of a lilo out to sea on Monday, July 7. Nothing was found after a search of the area. Photo: Paul Burke

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