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Dunbar Crew Tasked to Woman in Horse Fall

Dunbar’s lifeboat crew was called out yesterday (Monday) afternoon after a woman suffered serious injuries falling from a horse in John Muir Country Park.

The RNLI volunteers received a report that the 48-year-old woman, who was enjoying a day’s horse riding as part of a group, was left unable to walk after falling from her mount shortly after 3pm. She was badly injured when the horse stood on her lower left leg as she fell.

UK Coastguard requested the launch of our inshore lifeboat (ILB) at 4.05pm to assist paramedics from the Scottish Ambulance Service who were on scene at Hedderwick Sands by the River Tyne. The ambulance service also tasked their Special Operations Response Team (SORT) and Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance - SCAA Helimed 76 – as well as an ambulance. Coastguard teams from Dunbar and North Berwick were also called out.

Dunbar RNLI shore crew volunteers were among the first on scene shortly before 4.30pm, helping to locate the casualty for police and coastguards. They were joined by the ILB crew and the air ambulance.

After paramedics treated the woman, who was from Northern Ireland but had come to Dunbar for the day for the horse riding lesson, the decision was made to airlift her to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary for more treatment. Shortly after 5pm the Helimed took off from the beach.

Dunbar’s crew was stood down but the volunteers were unable to restart the ILB due to engine failure. After making every effort to repair the fault, they radioed for assistance and the Coastguard tasked North Berwick lifeboat to tow the ILB back to Dunbar, where repairs could be made.

A spokesman for Dunbar Lifeboats said: “Mechanical problems can happen to any vessel and our first priority was the safety of our crew. Just as we would advise anyone else in similar circumstances, we requested help and we are hugely grateful to the swift assistance of our colleagues in North Berwick. This incident also highlighted the importance of the RNLI’s search and rescue assets on the coast.”

Crew: Gary Crowe, Gordon Kirkham, Douglas Wight, Adrian Lavery