TWO Portlethen men took part in a brave rescue on Saturday which resulted in an Aberdeen angler’s life being saved.
Ronald Kenn and Martin Craig, both 49, grew up in Portlethen together and had planned to go fishing on Saturday morning but they decided the seas were too rough.
Martin said of the decision not to fish: “We were brought up around there, when we don’t go out with a boat when it’s rough, it’s saying something.”
However, despite deciding the sea was too rough to fish, the two friends launched their fishing boat into the sea without a second thought when Aberdeen angler Bill Bain, 65, was swept out to sea by a huge wave.
Martin described how the rescue took place: “I have a lobster boat down there and the plan was to go fishing early on Saturday morning but when we woke up the sea was too rough. Before we went down, I noticed there were two anglers fishing.
“About an hour later my friend Ronald came running along the shore towards me shouting, ‘launch a boat, launch a boat. There is an angler in the water’ Without thinking we just launched the boat and went into the water to get this guy.
“We searched for a good ten minutes, at this point the poor guy had been in the water for 20 minutes. I heard the guy shouting, he was lying on his back in the water close to rocks. I managed to grab him and Ron reversed the boat boat away from the rocks. He was very blue and could hardly speak.”
The two friends got Mr Bain to shore and shortly after that the emergency services arrived, Mr Bain was taken to hospital where he was kept overnight for observation, he only suffered minor cuts and bruises.
Mr Craig described how it was only when they sat down that the enormity of what they had just done sank in, he said he remembered just before they launched their boat his uncle asked him: “Are you sre you want to go in?” But he says that by that time “Instinct had just kicked in.”
Looking back, he says: “Neither of us felt very comfortable,” and that it was only after they had launched the boat that Mr Kenn informed him that he had also phoned the coastguard, not only for the angler but also for themselves, in case the boat couldn’t handle the rough seas.
Mr Craig describes the rescue as, “very lucky,” and said: “The thing that really got to me is that he didn’t have a lifejacket on. It was it was air that trapped in his jacket that kept him afloat.”
After he was released from hospital, Mr Bain and his son, who was fishing with him on Saturday when the incident took place, visited the two friends to thank them.
Mr Craig says;”He (Bill Bain) said he saw his life pass before his eyes then all of a sudden this little boat appeared out of nowhere to pick him up.”
Mr Bain was very lucky that Martin and Ronald acted so quickly and heroically. Martin Craig hopes that what happened will serve as a warning to other anglers.
He said: “Portlethen is a lovely, lovely place to fish but when the sea is bad, we just don’t go out. Especially without a life-jacket.”