Stranded walkers swim from Cramond Island - during its lockdown closure

The walkers had attempted to cross the submerged causeway, which is closed to the public.

By Catherine Salmond
Sunday, 26th April 2020, 11:13 am
Updated Sunday, 26th April 2020, 11:23 am

RNLI crews were called to Cramond Island to help rescue a group of trapped walkers.

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The stranded people had attempted to make their way across the submerged causeway from Cramond Island, late on Saturday afternoon, with some then swimming back to the mainland.

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Cramond Island is currently closed to the public. Picture: JPIMedia

A spokeswoman for RNLI South Queesferry stressed her team would always be ‘here to rescue those who need it’, but urged the public to be sensible during the lockdown.

She said: “We need you to support our efforts by avoiding putting yourselves at risk pursuing recreational activities that may lead to requiring rescue while we are in this period of social distancing.”

The city council closed the path to Cramond Island 'until further notice' after people flouted lockdown rules over the Easter weekend

The alarm was raised shortly after 3pm, and when the RNLI boat arrived the swimmers had made it safely ashore.

Three people were then found on the island, informing the crew that they intended to remain on Cramond Island until the safe crossing time that evening.

The spokeswoman said: “Having established that they were adequately equipped for the conditions, and giving some safety advice, the volunteer crew members made their way back to the lifeboat. The lifeboat was then stood down and returned to Hawes Pier to be recovered and made ready for service once again.”

Crossing the causeway – when it is open to the public – can be dangerous outwith the publicised times.

The spokeswoman added: “The tide comes in quickly, and there are strong currents moving through the area that can easily wash even a strong swimmer off the causeway or into the concrete teeth - both of which are very perilous situations.”

This was the fourth call-out to the South Queensferry team in two days, across the Lothian area.

The spokeswoman added: “We are here to rescue those that need it. This will not change and we want you to always call 999 and ask for the Coastguard if you need our help - we are here for you.”