Emergency at South Queensferry swimming event

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A giant event aimed at so-called ‘wild swimmers’ prompted a callout to lifeboats after two females participants got into difficulties.

Queensferry Lifeboat and HM Coastguard were tasked with assisting safety boats which had mustered for the afternoon event on Saturday (September 22)

Poor weather conditions had seen the boats struggle at the scene but the same was true for those taking part.

The rescuers sped to the north and middle cantilevers of the Forth rail bridge where some swimmers were attempting to proceed against a strong tide.

One “cold and exhausted” swimmer was recovered in their bid to get out the water when another was identified in urgent need of assistance.

A RNLI spokeswoman said: “The lifeboat took this casualty on board and requested an ambulance at Hawes Pier.

“The casualty was slipping in and out of consciousness, was very cold and was thought to have swallowed water.”

She then confirmed that paramedics were on hand to administer medical aid on the site - while the first swimmer was taken into the Lifeboat Station to recover.

Both women were soon re-united with their husbands and were able to return home in safety.

The volunteers then joined forces with HM Coastguard to ensure the safety of other competitors.

HM Coastguard duty commander Mark Rodaway said: “An extensive search of the area was conducted until we were able to ascertain that everybody was accounted for.”