A special year for RNLI Queensferry Lifeboat Station with the busiest inshore lifeboat in Scotland.

2012 proved to be a landmark year for the RNLI Queensferry Lifeboat Station having moved into their newly built lifeboat station at the Hawes Pier, South Queensferry. They took delivery of the latest Atlantic 85 lifeboat Jimmie Cairncross and finished the year as Scotland’s busiest inshore lifeboat for the second year running.

The dedicated crew is made up wholly from volunteers under the guidance of RNLI Queensferry Lifeboat Station Operations Manager, Tom Robertson MBE. They are on call 24 hours a day and were summoned out on 66 rescue missions last year. They rescued 163 people and were out at sea for over 350 hours in a variety of ‘shouts’ from searching for a missing kite surfer off Silverknowes in ferocious weather conditions, to rescuing Sea Scouts on an inflatable which had suffered engine failure. They were towed safely to Port Edgar Marina.

Another rescue involved a Seamaster Yacht ‘Prospect’ which had a snapped tiller off Inchcolm Island. In July the yacht ‘Frith’ ran aground on rocks at Hawcraig Point off Aberdour. The crew towed her free from the rocks and returned her safely to Burntisland.

The lifeboat crew came to the aid of a variety of distressed men, women and children on Cramond Island with an injured child, a female with an injured foot, a man with a broken leg and another with a head injury. They also responded to a report of a distressed pregnant woman having a miscarriage on the island. All were landed at Cramond where the waiting paramedics and ambulances transported them to hospital for treatment.

In December the crew were called out again to Cramond Island by the coastguard where adults with children had tried to wade ashore in the fast incoming tide. They found the water to be chest deep and were reportedly relieved to be taken aboard the lifeboat and returned safely to Cramond where some needed treatment for hypothermia. Over the years there have been many people caught out by the tide on Cramond Island, despite all the safety warnings.

In May the crew responded to a ‘shout’ and put their extensive first aid training to good use when a male was reported to have fallen from the Forth Road Bridge. The casualty was recovered quickly but was unconscious and was not breathing. Lifeboatmen Ross Denver and Jonathan Payne administered CPR as the lifeboat sped back to the Hawes Pier. After many compressions the casualty started breathing again and was then handed over to the care of the waiting paramedics and taken by ambulance to hospital. The man’s family contacted the lifeboat station to thank the crew for saving his life.

All of last year’s work highlights the invaluable work carried out by the RNLI lifeboat service and the dedication of the volunteer crew at Queensferry Lifeboat Station.