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Four rescued by lifeboat

By Bob Geddes
Dumfries and West
Four rescued by lifeboat

LIFEBOATMEN have hit out after four men were rescued from Luce Bay on the Galloway coast.

For the four men had no lifejackets and were in the water for more than an hour before being rescued by the Stranraer Inshore lifeboat early on Sunday morning.
The men had to tread water after their small 20ft boat caught fire more than a mile off the coast at Stairhaven, near Glenluce.
Luckily a member of the public alerted the police and coastguards just before midnight on Saturday after spotting flames in Luce Bay.
Terry Simpson, operations manager at Stranraer Lifeboat station, said: “They men hadn’t a lifejacket between them. One of them had a helmet with a light on it which was what drew the lifeboat to them.
“Two of them had pretty bad hypothermia and all four were taken to hospital to be checked up but were later allowed home.
“It was pretty silly not to have lifejackets with them or some other kind of aids. Three of them were in their normal clothes and the fourth had a wet suit, so they were really lucky.”
Three of the men were from Dumfries, Patna and Helensburgh.
The Stranraer lifeboat was launched from Stairhaven and managed to reach the small craft and bring them to safety.
A Rescue 999 Coastguard helicopter from Prestwick, coastguard teams from Isle of Whithorn and Stranraer were also called out along with firefighters and Scottish Ambulance staff were called out.
All four men in their late 20s and early 30s were checked for hypothermia and were taken to the Galloway Community Hospital at Stranraer by ambulance after being brought ashore at the slipway at Stairhaven.
Mr Simpson said: “They were really lucky for they had to tread water for over an hour. Luckily someone spotted the fire and raised the alarm.
“It was a really good rescue saving four lives like that. Fortunately it wasn’t a rough night but they had to hold on to each other and try to swim but it would have taken them a while to swim a mile.
“If they’d lasted to morning they would have been lucky because the cold would probably have got them. It was daylight just after four o’clock so if we hadn’t found them the search would have gone on.”
He added: “Their boat started to burn and then they jumped into the water. The boat was recovered in the morning because it hadn’t sunk.
“We don’t know how the boat caught fire and it is now being investigated.”


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