Being just 300 metres from dry land, Malcolm Moffat thought that he would be able to swim back to shore. This led him to jump from his canoe off the coast of Dunbar. However, after making that decision, he realised that he was not able to swim against the tide. Even though he could see people on the shore, he was not able to signal for help. This left him stranded for more than an hour in the choppy waters, with no clue of whether anyone would come to his rescue.

Every attempt he made to swim towards shore drained both his energy and spirit. He mentioned that the only thing that kept him going was the thought of his wife and two-year-old son back home in Prestonpans. Malcolm felt that what really spared his life throughout the entire ordeal was the life jacket and dry suit that he had on. Eventually, he was picked up by a local fisherman, who responded to a coastguard call. When the fisherman discovered Malcolm, he was already “drifting in and out of consciousness”. He was then airlifted to the hospital.

“It’s an hour of my life that will stay with me forever. I was swimming just to stay still. When I started to be dragged back out away from shore it then crossed my mind that ‘hey, I could drown here, I might die’. I was swimming for ten minutes and stopping for ten, it was exhausting. There were bits when I felt ‘I cannae drown out here, I cannae stop, I need to keep going’. “It’s really hard to say how long I was in the water for before someone spotted me. It was thoughts of my family that spurred me on,” recounted the 29-year-old father.

Malcolm was actually out fishing for around 45 minutes before his kayak started sinking. After he realised that he was no longer able to move the kayak, it left him no other choice but to abandon it to prevent the entire thing from sinking under his weight. “I opened up one of the hatches in the hull and saw it was full of water, which has never happened before. I quickly realised that was it, it was sinking. It was scary but the only option I had was to go in the water,” he explained. If you would like to read more, you can do so here.

Happy Fish Swim School would like to remind everyone about the importance of putting on a life jacket when going out to sea. This is usually neglected by most individuals. However, for you own safety, please put it on as you will never know when such things can occur. For those who may be keen in taking a lifesaving course for further knowledge, you will be glad to know that we offer it as well.