Volunteer crews spent hours searching for the three young men who got lost at sea on Saturday

Three teenagers had to be rescued off the coast of Dunbar in Scotland on Saturday after getting lost at sea amid poor visibility.

The group raised the alarm via mobile phone not long after leaving Peffer Sands near Tynghame.

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As the weather closed in, the trio were unable to locate the shore, with only a mobile phone and no other navigation or safety equipment on them.

Dunbar RNLI coxswain Gary Fairbairn said: “When Aberdeen coastguard asked us to assist you could hardly see your hand in front of your face. Because the casualties had little idea where they were we started a standard search pattern with help from our inshore lifeboat, and another boat that was in the area at the time the research vessel Alba na Mara.

“We were firing off flares hoping they might be seen by the casualty – and eventually as our search patterns continued the research boat found them. They had been at sea for about five hours.

“We took the three young people on board the lifeboat and towed the speedboat back to Dunbar.

“This incident underlines once again what a dangerous place the sea is – especially for the unprepared. Conditions off the coast can change very quickly and I appeal to everyone heading out for enjoyment take advice on conditions and make sure you are prepared with adequate and operational safety equipment so if things go wrong you can cope.”