Stranded musicians rescued from Cramond Island

Conrad Molleson and his Stringjammer mates were saved from Cramond Island. Picture: Dan Phillips
Conrad Molleson and his Stringjammer mates were saved from Cramond Island. Picture: Dan Phillips
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THREE members of an acclaimed folk band had to be rescued by the coastguard after tidal water trapped them on an island.

The musicians from Stringjammer were stranded on Cramond Island after their path to the mainland was cut off by the tide. They had been trying to find secluded practice space after receiving noise complaints.

Conrad Molleson, 44, and bandmates Mat Clements and Tom Adams said they were stunned when they realised they were trapped.

“We were dismayed – it was a schoolboy error to get the time of the tides wrong,” said Mr Molleson.

Things quickly deteriorated when fiddler Mr Adams tried to walk home through the Forth’s icy waters.

He was forced to turn back minutes later having turned blue wading up to his waist.

Mr Molleson said: “It was pretty crazy. He must have thought he was Jesus, but I had taken my boots off with the intention of following him.

“He stopped after about 40 yards. I think he underestimated just how cold the air and the water were.”

A roots and new-folk band who play venues around the Capital and further afield, the trio revealed they were driven to practising on the island after being dogged by complaints.

“We just went there with ukuleles and percussion drums for a tune on a beautiful day,” said Mr Molleson of the decision to head there with pet Labrador Wendal.

“We’d been getting lots of complaints from neighbours next to where we’d played before – places like Spoon Cafe in South Bridge.

“So we decided to go somewhere where neighbours would not complain. We wanted to go out as far as we could without actually ending up in Fife.”

Mr Molleson revealed the causeway connecting the island to the mainland was quickly covered by tidal water, with only hours to go before he was due on stage for his next gig.

He said: “We were having too much fun out there and the time just slipped by. After Tom tried to walk through the water, we called the coastguard and built a fire with pages from my sketchbook and wood we’d found.”

They were soon picked up by coastguard crews. No-one required hospital treatment.

Mr Molleson said: “We were a bunch of dafties but the fact is it’s hard to play regularly in Edinburgh. It seems that if you want to rehearse or have a gig, you still have to go to Glasgow.”

A coastguard spokesman said the incident could have been worse.

“It’s important to be aware of when the tides come in if you’re out on the island,” he said.

The band formed in 2009. Their debut album, Long Road Home, was critically acclaimed.