Ferry lifeboat again busiest in Scotland

SQ RNLI
SQ RNLI

2012 proved to be a busy year for the RNLI in Queensferry after it earned the title of busiest inshore lifeboat in Scotland for the second year in succession.

2012 proved to be a busy year for the RNLI in Queensferry after it earned the title of busiest inshore lifeboat in Scotland for the second year in succession.

SQ RNLI

SQ RNLI

The RNLI crew was called out no less than 66 times, helping to rescue 163 people.

The crew, all volunteers, had to deal with a variety of missions including the search for a missing kite surfer off Silverknowes in gale force winds, a yacht which ran aground on rocks off Aberdour, and rescuing people who continually get caught out by the incoming tide at Cramond Island.

The crew was even involved in a life-saving operation when a man was reported to have fallen from the Forth Road Bridge. The casualty was recovered from the water quickly but he was unconscious and not breathing. As the lifeboat sped back to the Hawes Pier, crew members administered CPR and managed to get the casualty breathing again before paramedics took him to hospital. The family later commended the work of the crew.

The past year saw Queensferry RNLI get a new lifeboat station and a new, more powerful boat. The volunteers, under the guidance lifeboat station operations manager Tom Robertson, are on call 24 hours a day and were at sea for 350 hours over the year.

The RNLI’s regional operations manager for Scotland, Andy Clift, said: “The figures show that our volunteers dedicate a huge amount of their time to saving lives at sea.

‘‘To know they are on call 24/7, every day of the year, is reassuring for all of us who venture out to sea around the Scottish coast.

“They spent the equivalent of 643 days on service and on exercise and rescued a record number of people in Scotland in a year.

“But it’s not just our crew who are committed to our charity - they wouldn’t be able to carry out their lifesaving work without the incredible generosity of the public and I would like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to all those who support the RNLI.”

*A record number of people were rescued by Royal National Lifeboat Institution volunteers in Scotland last year.

The charity’s annual statistics show 1055 people were rescued in 2012 with lifeboats launching from the country’s 46 stations on 1008 occasions. The previous highest number of people rescued was 1026 in 2006.