Snapping lobsters caused canoeists to panic and capsize

Heather Angus called 999 when the two men got into trouble

By Christine Lavelle

TWO canoeists out fishing for lobsters had to be rescued after one dropped a pot of the snapping shellfish into the kayak – driving them into a panicked frenzy.

The petrified pair capsized while out checking on lobster pots in the dark, off the coast of Cockenzie Harbour in one single and one double kayak on Sunday evening.

As they began bringing the creels on board, one of the pots was dropped, and the lobsters were sprawled out around them.

Simon Ward, an officer at Forth Coastguard, said: “It seems one of the occupants was lifting a pot and dropped it into the kayak. Continue reading

14-month-old ‘Human Piggy Bank’ nearly chokes on 20p coin

By Oliver Farrimond

A 14-MONTH-OLD boy nearly ended up a human piggy bank before doctors saved him from choking to death on a 20p coin.

Danny Mentiplay, from Dunfermline, swallowed the coin on June 30th after being asked to look after it while dad Allen was away.

However little Danny began “turning blue” within minutes, prompting terrified mum Tara to dial 999.

After being rushed to Edinburgh’s Sick Kids Hospital, battling doctors managed to remove the coin lodged in the youngster’s throat after an hour-long emergency operation.

Mum Tara said that were it not for the swift actions of NHS staff and surgeons, her son could have died. Continue reading

Hamish thanks his life-saving 999 heroes

By Cara Sulieman

A 12-YEAR-OLD lad who had a heart attack was today reunited with the quick-thinking ambulance worker who helped to save his life.

Hamish Mackinnon suffered a heart attack while on a school trip in April 2009 but survived after an emergency call handler diagnosed the problem and told adults how to treat him.

And after making a full recovery Hamish was delighted to finally meet Morag Bell, whose calm advice kept him alive until paramedics raced to his aid.

The pair were reunited as the Scottish Ambulance Service officially opened their new Emergency Medical Dispatch Centre in South Queensferry with health secretary Nicola Sturgeon.
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Tragedy as suspected gas leak claims woman’s life

By Cara Sulieman and Michael MacLeod

AN elderly woman has died and her husband rushed to hospital after a suspected gas leak at their home early yesterday.

The 61-year-old – named locally as Pauline Childs – was thought to have died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Husband John, 70, was also rushed to St John’s Hospital in Livingston to be treated after inhaling the toxic gas.

It was understood that John had tried to summon help after coughing up blood, calling 999 to tell emergency services they were struggling to breathe at their council house in North Street, Ratho, on the outskirts of Edinburgh.

Several ambulance teams were despatched to the scene but were unable to revive tragic Pauline.
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Perv treks 300 miles across border to abuse schoolgirl

By Michael MacLeod

A PERVERTED forklift truck driver admitted repeatedly sexually abusing a 15 year-old girl at weekends – driving 300 miles each time to satisfy his depravity.

Ian Rodhouse, 43, would travel to Edinburgh from his former home in Slough to visit a woman friend he knew each weekend, abusing the child while she was out at work.

Rodhouse preyed on the youngster at an address in Edinburgh when she was getting changed into her school uniform in the mornings.

He would also walk in on her having baths, lather up her back with soap before touching her indecently.

And he made chilling threats to the girl not to tell anyone about the year-long campaign of abuse, warning that her pocket money could be taken away if she did.
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Pensioner left out in cold by ambulance

Betty Henry with her husband John at a wedding last year.

By Cara Sulieman

A PENSIONER was left in the freezing cold waiting for an ambulance after tripping and breaking her ankle, despite passer bys making SIX 999 calls.

It was over an hour before help finally arrived for 75-year-old Betty Henry, who had just got off the bus before tripping on a pothole on Clermiston Road in Edinburgh.

Members of the public who rushed to her aid were repeatedly told by the ambulance that it was not “an emergency”, despite the fact that the usually active pensioner could not move and started to shake in the cold.

Meanwhile, Mrs Henry’s daughter Barbara Balfour, was waiting to hear which hospital her mum would be taken to before setting off from her Haddington home.

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Mercy crews under more attacks than ever

By Michael MacLeod

MORE violent yobs than ever are being convicted for attacking Scotland’s hero emergency workers.
6 999 ATTACKS DS (Medium)
Tough new rules were introduced in 2005 to protect mercy staff from the daily possibility of being assaulted.

New figures show convictions and prosecutions more than doubled in the four years since the Emergency Workers Scotland Act came into force, with 157 people convicted last year.

Union leaders said the figures should encourage response workers to have confidence in reporting violence to police.

Attacks on brave firefighters, paramedics and other emergency staff resulted in 78 court cases in the Lothian region alone between April 2008 and March 2009.

That compares to just 28 in the first year after the Emergency Workers (Scotland) Act began.
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Baby born on special 9/9/09 day

Baby Kyle with mum Tracey and dad Ian

Baby Kyle with mum Tracey and dad Ian

By Cara Sulieman

IT WAS a date with destiny for one Scots couple yesterday after their son was born on the auspicious day 9/9/09.

Little baby Kyle was born at 9.11am – thought to be the closest baby born to 9.09am in Scotland .

It wasn’t easy for mum Tracey MacLachlan, 28, who had been in labour for an eye-watering 12 hours.

But she laughed: “I guess it could have been worse – he could have be born on 6/6/06.”

She added: “We didn’t think about the date at all until the midwife mentioned it this morning – I had other things on my mind.

“He was so late in coming that I was just pleased to see him.”

Kyle is the third child for teaching assistant Tracey, who has a daughter Chloe, 10, from a previous relationship and son Robbie, four, with husband Ian, 25.

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Fallen firefighter was filling in for pal


THE HERO firefighter who was killed on Sunday as he helped save over 20 people from a burning tenement was working as a favour to a colleague who had a ticket for T in the Park

Brave Ewan Williamson, 35, from Edinburgh, was covering for a mate and should have been enjoying a day off instead of risking his life as an inferno ripped through an Edinburgh pub.

Over 70 firefighters helped tackle the blaze at the capital’s Balmoral Bar, in Dalry, after answering an emergency 999 call at 12.38 on Sunday morning.

Ewan and a colleague, who were stationed at the city’s Tollcross station, entered the burning pub but tragedy struck within a few minutes as the floor gave way plunging both officers into the burning basement.

Courageous Ewan died at the scene and his fellow firefighter was rushed to the city’s Royal Infirmary to be treated for severe smoke inhalation.

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Shocked onlookers dial 999 as yobs attack “whale”

By Cara Sulieman

SHOCKED onlookers called out the coastguard when they saw a crowd of yobs beating what looked like a whale that had been washed up on to the beach.

Worried that the six savages were going to kill the animal, people in East Lothian dialled 999 to get help for the beast.

But when the coastguard arrived they soon realised it was a false alarm.

Instead of a stranded whale, the group had surrounded a wave generator that they were experimenting with.

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