North Berwick lifeboat called to emergency after kayakers thrown into freezing cold water

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Lifeboat launched to help kayakers who found themselves in difficulty at sea

Lifeboat crews were called to help rescue two kayakers who had been plunged into freezing cold water when their boats capsized.

The pair had been kayaking on Saturday afternoon when a swell caused one of their boats to tip over. Due to the low temperature of the water, he struggled to get back into his kayak. His friend tried to assist but while doing so, his boat also capsized.

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They used their hand-held VHF radio they were carrying to issue a Pan Pan emergency. The North Berwick volunteer lifeboat was launched after receiving the message at 12.44pm, with newly qualified Callum MacLeod as Helm. He launched with two other crew members and commenced a search for the kayakers at the last reported location.

North Berwick Lifeboat rescued two kayakers whose boats capsizedNorth Berwick Lifeboat rescued two kayakers whose boats capsized
North Berwick Lifeboat rescued two kayakers whose boats capsized

The kayakers attended the lifeboat station where they were checked out and treated for cold. They were also assisted with their kayaks and equipment.

Callum, who qualified just days before the call almost 20 years after first joining the crew, is now encouraging anyone who finds themselves in difficulty to use personal locator beacons (PLB).

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“Even well-equipped water users can get into difficulty and we would encourage the use of the PLBs as this gives the coastguard an exact position to pass to the lifeboat crew allowing us to attend in the correct area very quickly,” he said.

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