Vandals spark sea search by Dunbar lifeboat

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Vandals sparked an early morning sea search after a canoe was found drifting at sea off the East Lothian coast.

Dunbar’s RNLI lifeboat the John Neville Taylor was asked by coastguards to search an area off North Berwick after the canoe was found drifting by a local fishing boat.

Police and shore based coastguards made inquiries in the town and found a car which they thought may have belonged to a now missing canoeist.

Dunbar Lifeboat Coxswain Gary Fairbairn said: “The police managed to trace the guy who owned the canoe who was at home and safe. It transpired that late on Friday night some mindless idiots threw the canoe and some other boat tenders from the harbour at North Berwick and they drifted out to sea.

“Obviously if you find an empty boat at sea your first concern must be that someone is in danger and appropriate action needs to be taken quickly.

“The police and coastguards did a good job in quickly establishing no life was at risk but it means a lot of time and money was wasted by the lifeboat and it’s crew and the other emergency services because of an act of gross stupidity.”

Later in the day another yacht tender vandalised in the same incident was found drifting in the Forth by a Dunbar fishing boat and brought back to harbour

The Dunbar lifeboat was returning to harbour from another shout when the call to North Berwick was received early on Saturday morning.

They had been rescuing fellow crew member, local fishermen Kevin Keillor who had become entangled in his own lobster creel ropes near the Bass Rock.