South Scotland

Luce Bay burning boat rescue men 'really lucky'

Rescuers have criticised four men for not wearing lifejackets after they were picked up when their boat caught fire off the Galloway Coast.

The men, in their late 20s and early 30s, had to abandon their vessel in Luce Bay late on Saturday night.

They had to tread water for more than an hour before a member of the public saw the flames and raised the alarm.

All four men needed hospital checks. The cause of the fire is being investigated.

Terry Simpson, operations manager at Stranraer lifeboat station, said: "The 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."

He said it was "pretty silly" of the men not to have lifejackets with them or some other kind of aid.

"Three of them were in their normal clothes and the fourth had a wet suit, so they were really lucky," he added.

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