Cramond Island doozie's rescue give me a scoop, then enraged my inner taxpayer – Susan Morrison

Cramond seafront was awash with paramedics, firefighters and the Coastguard. It’s been a long lockdown. Anything to break the monotony of the state-sanctioned hour’s exercise.

Friday, 19th March 2021, 7:00 am
Warnings about the risk of being cut off by the tide are hard to miss on the causeway to Cramond Island (Picture: Ian Rutherford)

Dog walkers, baby strollers and just plain ol’ walking-about-people suddenly fancied queuing for a coffee from the wee van, whilst we casually side-eyed the appliances and ear-wigged in on the blaring radios to figure out what was happening.

The RNLI appeared, heading for the island at a cracking pace. We all pretty much sussed the situation immediately.

Yes, it was high tide. And yes, someone was marooned.

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The rescue was happening right in front of me. I was an eyewitness to history. Admittedly, it’s not standing beside the grassy knoll, or broadcasting in the glare of a burning airship, but, by jingo, I was now a citizen reporter and my beat was Cramond’s mean streets. Well, street. It was my duty to get the story out.

I hit the phone to this newspaper and told them to hold the front page. The young lady was very nice, but said she was Kwik Fit.

Quick re-dial and the news link was sorted. Newsdesk said holding the front page was a tad problematic. And anyway, the Big Story was Ms Sturgeon currently telling the nation how we would reach the Promised Land of fun and freedom. Priorities, eh?

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Emergency services rescue man stranded on Cramond Island

Even as I was giving the desk the lowdown, the lifeboat pulled into the quay at my feet. Bad idea. The sight of a lifeboat starts me screaming like a teen girl at a boyband.

I adore the RNLI. It is physically impossible for me to pass an RNLI gift shop. You can’t see the fridge for magnets of Derwent class and Atlantic 85s.

The crew of the “Jimmie Cairncross” behaved magnificently in the face of a deranged squealing woman, and came ashore with the short-term Robinson Crusoe.

The paramedics had a word, the Coastguard had a word, then our desert island doozie just walked away from two fire engines, the ambulance service and the coastguard. Not to mention the RNLI.

Here I unleash my inner Raging Taxpayer. That battalion of rescue services, which, incidentally, wasn’t available to work in the city during the incident, was paid for through our taxes and NI. Not the RNLI obviously, although my collection of magnets, tea towels and notebooks must have financed at least three lifejackets and an emergency flare.

And we all know this isn’t the last shout for a Cramond Island evacuation. People will insist on strolling past those huge signs telling them how to avoid coming to the attention of the emergency services.

Yesterday’s bloke was lifted off on a clear day with great weather. Perhaps we should just leave people until the tide turns? Bet the occupying Romans would have, if Flavius had been dumb enough to get stuck. To be fair, the Romans were pretty smart, but they didn’t have the RNLI.

Of course, we can’t do that. Families with children have been cut off by the tide, and the Scottish weather isn’t always so in a sunny mood.

Perhaps it’s time to build a barrier to stop those too stupid to read a timetable from venturing out on the causeway?

The trouble is, people would just nip round that, too.

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