Five children rescued from Findhorn Bay after dinghies capsized

FIVE pupils from two Moray secondary schools have been rescued after their dinghies capsized during a school trip.

The pupils got into difficulties while sailing in their dinghies in Findhorn Bay at the mouth of the River Findhorn.

Aberdeen Coastguard were alerted shortly before mid-day and scrambled an RAF search and rescue helicopter from RAF Lossiemouth and launched the Moray Inshore rescue boat based at Findhorn. Coastguard rescue teams at Burghead were also alerted.

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A Coastguard spokesman said: “There were reports of one person in the water. A total of five pupils were rescued by a boat from the marina at Findhorn.”

He added: “We understand that the pupils had been out on a school trip and were out on dinghies when something happened and lot of the dinghies had capsized. But we understand that the majority of the children had been taken off before most of the boats capsized and only one ended up in the water. He was pulled out fairly quickly. All the pupils are safe and well.”

A spokesman for Moray Council explained: “The incident occurred as pupils from Forres Academy and Speyside High School were taking part in sail training as part of their schools’ activities week. The training was being carried out by a provider registered with the Royal Yachting Association.

“Our understanding at this stage is that a dinghy with one pupil aboard capsized in Findhorn Bay and members of the public on shore alerted the emergency services.A search-and-rescue helicopter from RAF Lossiemouth was quickly on the scene but the pupil had already been taken aboard a rescue vessel and was found to be uninjured.”

He continued: “”While the helicopter was on scene two other dinghies, each with two pupils on board and within feet of the rescue boat, also capsized. All four of those pupils were quickly taken out of the water by the crew of the rescue boat and were also found to be uninjured.

“The five pupils – four from Forres Academy and one from Speyside High – were seen by paramedics as soon as they reached shore but were found not to be in need of medical attention.”

The spokesman added: “This was a properly supervised activities outing and everyone is relieved and thankful that no one was injured and that all the pupils involved are safe.”