150 stranded revellers rescued from the island party that turned a little too cool

FOR hundreds of ravers who turned up for an unlicensed summer event on a small Scottish island the day started well with sun, music and dancing.

• Cramond Island causeway entrance warns of the risks

But it all went wrong when a massive summer downpour saw drenched partygoers requiring an emergency rescue by police and lifeboat crews.

Stranded by the high tides and left wet and cold by the heavy rainfall, ravers abandoned their traditional antipathy to the police and swamped them with 999 calls demanding assistance.

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An estimated 150 young people had to be evacuated from Cramond Island in the Firth of Forth in an operation dubbed "Dunkirk for ravers" by one party-goer. Six of those rescued had to be treated for hypothermia.

The all-night party was organised by a group of Edinburgh DJs, who advertised it via social networking site Bebo.

However, in an operation that cost 10,000, rescuers were called into action after a summer storm swept across the firth on Saturday evening.

As their skimpy party clothes failed to protect them from the elements, 20 ravers had to be evacuated from the island by Queensferry and Kinghorn lifeboat crews. An estimated 130 then had to be taken by police along the narrow one-mile long causeway that links the island to the shore at low tide in the early hours of yesterday.

Last night, police insisted that the ravers should have been better prepared for the vagaries of the Scottish climate.

A police spokesman said: "At this time of year it is nice to spend time at the coast, but you are at the mercy of changing tides and the weather, and any excursions have to be extremely carefully planned. Along with our colleagues in other emergency services, we are hugely concerned that those involved last night did not take this into account. As a result, emergency resources were committed to dealing with the aftermath."

A coastguard spokesman said: "Lots of people went over for the party and forgot the tide was coming in and got cut off. We got 999 calls from people calling in a panic because they could not get off the island.

"They were getting cold and it was starting to rain and lots of them were just in T-shirts because it was warm yesterday."

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Angus MacIver, Watch Manager for Forth Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, said: "The difficulties arose when the weather deteriorated from a hot sunny day to a cold night with northerly winds and rain. We were then concerned for the young people's well-being and risk of exposure to the weather."

A spokesman for the Scottish Ambulance Service confirmed that six people were treated for hypothermia after the rescue.

Despite the evacuation, many stayed on the island and kept the party going in the face of the adverse weather conditions.

DJ Kyle Ronaldson, 24, said: "The rain was the heaviest I have ever seen. Everybody just go absolutely soaked. We had a tent set up to protect the equipment – we had a generator and speakers and the DJs had their stuff as well – but it was useless because the storm was so heavy."

Mr Ronaldson told how he and fellow DJ Tony Nicol set up their equipment in one of the island's many bunkers despite the evacuation attempt by police and lifeboats. "To be honest, we didn't even realise so many people were being taken ashore by lifeboats," he said.

"There was a rumour that the police were coming, but we just thought, we're nice and dry in the bunker and it's turning into a great night, so why move? It actually turned into one of the best sets I've done; the atmosphere in the bunker was just insane."

Home in Juniper Green yesterday, he added: "The rain actually made it a great night. The first I realised there had been an incident was when I read it on a news website when I got up. It's a bit mad."