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Both Boats Launched to Paddle Boarder in Difficulty 23/2/19

Dunbar RNLI volunteers launched both lifeboats yesterday (Saturday) after reports of a lone paddle boarder in difficulty near Thorntonloch.

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UK Coastguard paged for the inshore (ILB) and all-weather (ALB) lifeboats at 3.55pm after a member of public raised the alarm. The crews launched minutes later and both boats were on scene by around 4.15pm to begin a search. 

The crews spotted a person on rocks near Thorntonloch Beach and, with assistance from UK Coastguard teams from Dunbar and North Berwick and members of the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, established this was the casualty, who had managed to make their own way to the shore.

The paddle boarder, who had got into difficulties after being blown away from shore, did not require medical treatment. Both crews were then stood down and the lifeboats were back ready for service by 5pm.

An RNLI spokesman said “Stand up paddle boarding or SUP is fun in flat water or surf and can be enjoyed by the whole family but this incident highlighted the potential risks.”

The RNLI advises paddle boarders to:

·      Always tell someone where you're going and when you'll be back. Don't leave the house without a mobile phone or communication device.

·      Check the weather forecast and tide times before you set out - they can change quickly.

·      Avoid offshore winds.

·      Always go with a friend.

·      Wear a suitable personal flotation device.

·      Wear suitable clothing for time of year.

·      Always wear your leash and hold onto your board if you get into trouble - it will help you float.

·      Consider other water users by learning the rights of way in the surf. This can save you and others getting injured.

·      Get the appropriate level of training.

A RNLI spokesman added: “Our advice to members of the public is if you see someone in danger or something of concern on the water, cliffs or shoreline call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”

Lewis (left) and Alan Blair on their first shout together.  (Photo: Ross McMullen)

Lewis (left) and Alan Blair on their first shout together.

(Photo: Ross McMullen)

Saturday’s shout was also notable as it was the first time crew member Alan Blair, an RNLI volunteer for nearly 17 years, was on a call out with his cousin Lewis Blair, who officially joined Dunbar Coastguard in January this year.

Crews:

ALB: Gordon Mackay, Gipper Ainslie, Alistair Punton, Chris Woods, Adrian Lavery, Iain Mcdougall, Andrzej Hajduk

ILB: Alan Blair, Gordon Kirkham, Laura Kirkham, Jamie Forrester