Surfers urged to stay home after lifeboat crew callout

Published
image copyrightRNLI/Derek Ironside
image captionThe crew had been at home, mainly doing their day jobs remotely

Aberdeen's inshore lifeboat crew has urged surfers to stay out of the sea after being forced to break social distancing rules to attend a callout.

The crew of three responded to a report that the surfer was having difficulty getting back on the board or swimming ashore at the city's beach on Tuesday.

They found the surfer, who made his own way to shore, was not in danger.

Operations manager Bill Deans urged surfers to "stay safe ashore, protect the emergency services and save lives."

Despite the lockdown, the RNLI says the public should not hesitate contacting the coastguard if they are concerned about anyone's safety.

The only action that would have prevented the crew being called out was "if this surfer had stayed at home", it said.

'Indirect risk'

"I have every sympathy with people who would like to use their daily exercise period to swim, sail, surf or whatever," Mr Deans added,

"But, on behalf of every lifeboat crewmember in the UK and Ireland, I have to appeal to them not to put our crews at indirect risk by going into or onto the sea."

Mr Deans said Aberdeen's lifeboat crew members had been at home in line with government guidelines - mostly doing their day jobs remotely.

"But they are always willing to set aside their own concerns to respond if the call comes that someone is in danger at sea," Mr Deans added.

"There is no way a lifeboat crew of three can maintain two metre separation aboard a five metre long lifeboat - and, if they had required to pull someone from the water, the infection concerns are obvious to all."