Sinking boat saved from Dunbar rocks

SBBN Dunbar lifeboat rescues holed boat.
SBBN Dunbar lifeboat rescues holed boat.

Dunbar lifeboat was called out on Sunday to rescue a fishing boat that had run onto rocks outside the town’s harbour.

The unnamed vessel had lost power, was holed on its starboard side and had drifted onto the rocks at Johnston’s Hole.

The alarm was raised at 12.35pm, and within five minutes Dunbar’s D class in-shore lifeboat (ILB) Jimmy Miff had reached the vessel.

When the volunteer crew arrived, they found one of the men in charge of the vessel on the rocks, holding the boat from drifting further.

A second man was still inside the boat.

The pair said they had only launched to go fishing half an hour earlier when they were caught out by a fast moving tide. As they tried to stop the boat hitting the rocks their engine failed, forcing them to ring Dunbar Harbour for help.

The ILB crew moved the boat off the rocks, towed the boat safely back to the harbour and helped it onto a trailer. Water was clearly running from holes in the starboard side once it was lifted from the harbour.

Neither man was wearing a lifejacket, although one insisted he was wearing a flotation aid and said there was one jacket on board. The men were also without a VHF radio and had relied on a mobile phone to raise the alarm.

Dunbar lifeboat coxswain Gary Fairbairn said the call-out showed how vital it was for anyone taking to the water to make sure they had the right equipment and knew what to do in an emergency situation.

He said: “It’s important people not only take lifejackets, but wear them. They should have a working VHF radio to alert the coastguard in times of trouble or dial 999 in an emergency, rather than calling the harbour.

“The RNLI’s Respect the Water campaign is all about raising awareness of safety – and today’s incident highlights just how vital it is that people take the right precautions.”

After the incident the ILB returned to the boathouse and was refuelled and ready for service within twenty minutes.

This was the second shout for the Dunbar volunteers over the weekend.

On Saturday the ILB also towed a fishing boat that had run out of fuel back into harbour after the crew had been forced to drop anchor about three quarters of a mile out at sea.