Peterhead RNLI launch to reports of a child drifting out to sea on an inflatable

Peterhead lifeboat was called out on Wednesday after reports of a child drifting out to sea on an inflatable off Scotstown Head to the north of the town.

The volunteer crew launched the The Misses Robertson of Kintail at 4.45pm and quickly made their way north, assisted by the coastguard, air support and nearby fishing vessels.

On route to the location, the crew spotted a green inflatable found in the water with no person in sight. On instruction from the coastguard, the crew commenced a search pattern from the location of the found inflatable.

On initiating the search, the coastguard confirmed that the child had been recovered safely to the shore and was in the care of UK Coastguard coastal teams from Peterhead and Fraserburgh.

While checking on the recovered child, it became apparent that a teenager, who had gone to the aid of the younger child in the water was starting to feel unwell. Peterhead RNLI supported the casualty from the beach back to Peterhead before transferring the teenager to a paramedic team for further treatment.

Patrick Davidson, Duty Coxswain, said: ‘Being called out to a young person reported in the water is one of the most dreaded by the crew. We can’t stress enough how dangerous inflatables are in the open sea. On this occasion, it was a good outcome and strong multiagency collaboration.

"I want to thank the member of the public, who went to into the water in aid of the child, and the crew for their professionalism and excellent casualty care.

"Inflatables can be fun when used safety, but every summer they are one of the most common reasons our lifeboat crews and lifeguards are called to action. They are not designed for the beach, so it is easy to get swept out to sea.”

The incident came the same week the RNLI urged people to stay safe at the coast.

Michael Avril, RNLI Water Safety Lead for Scotland said: "The sea can be unpredictable, and even with the temperatures soaring, the fact is that the water is still cold.

“If you get into trouble in the water, Float to Live. Lean back, using your arms and legs to stay afloat. Control your breathing, then call for help or swim to safety. In a coastal emergency, call 999.”