Lifeboat crew rescue ‘unconscious casualty’  in ‘challenging’ operation off Dunbar

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Lifeboat volunteers raced to the rescue of a man who had fallen unconscious on a rowing boat off the coast of Dunbar.

The drama happened yesterday afternoon.

Dunbar’s RNLI lifeboat was called to the ocean rowing boat where a 38-year-old rower took ill on a training passage from Edinburgh to St Andrews.

The two-man crew had set off at 9.30pm on Thursday night, but by 3.30am the rower fell ill.

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Lifeboat crews rescue the stricken rower (Pic: Dunbar RNLI)Lifeboat crews rescue the stricken rower (Pic: Dunbar RNLI)
Lifeboat crews rescue the stricken rower (Pic: Dunbar RNLI)

He had been sick and was drifting in and out of consciousness.

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The rowers aboard the state-of-the-art ocean vessel called in at North Berwick on Friday, but shortly after leaving at midday they realised they could not continue.

They intended to come ashore at Dunbar but, when the rower’s condition worsened, they called for help.

Dunbar’s lifeboat was launched and was on the scene within seven minutes.

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A spokesman said: “One crew member went aboard and assessed the rower, who by now was able to speak but was clearly unwell. In a two-metre swell and force six westerly wind, the decision was made to transfer him to the lifeboat and then to the all-weather lifeboat which had launched from Torness and arrived on scene at 3.20pm.”

The casualty was taken into the harbour where paramedics from the Scottish Ambulance Service were waiting.

Coastguard teams from Dunbar and North Berwick and the police also attended. .

Gary Fairbairn, coxswain said: “This was potentially a challenging operation in tricky conditions, but we were able to utilise all the assets at our disposal and the casualty and vessel were brought ashore safely and without incident. “