RNLI will not reverse decision

Divers at St Abbs.
Divers at St Abbs.

The RNLI has told the British Sub Aqua Club (BSAC) that it will not reconsider its decision to close the lifeboat station at St Abbs.

BSAC chairman Eugene Farrell and Sub Aqua Association (SAA) chairman Colin Bryan visited the RNLI head offices in Poole on Monday to take members’ and divers’ concerns over the closure of the lifeboat station directly to the top.

Following his recent visit to meet the crew of St Abbs Lifeboat station, Eugene Farrell was invited to meet RNLI operations director George Rawlinson.

Last month, BSAC officially put its support behind the Save St Abbs campaign, representing the views of its 30,000 members who believe that one less lifeboat station around St Abbs is not acceptable.

Mr Farrell said of the meeting with the RNLI head office team: “It was an open and honest meeting during which the RNLI explained their reasoning behind the decision to close the station. However, we remain concerned about the support provided to divers using St Abbs by a D Class and Trent boats based out of Eyemouth. It is not fully about how many shouts there have been but the future risk. There are a large number of our members and other divers using the St Abbs area in any busy weekend, and we want to ensure there is an acceptable level of appropriate lifeboat provision in such a popular diving location.”

Despite hearing BSAC’s concerns, the RNLI declined to reconsider their decision. BSAC is now urging its members to get behind the Save St Abbs Lifeboat petition and show their direct support for the lifeboat crew.

“I welcomed the opportunity to take our members’ views to Poole and engage directly with the team behind the decision to close St Abbs Lifeboat Station. We were also able to make it clear to the RNLI that we feel the alternative provision plan remains a major issue for BSAC.

“St Abbs is such an iconic UK dive location and we have to represent the interests and safety of all who dive there. In terms of the closure of St Abbs Lifeboat Station, BSAC position remains the same because every second counts.”

St Abbs Lifeboat Station has been earmarked for closure on September 8.

BSAC members and divers can still put their support and signature - to the to the Save St Abbs Lifeboat station campaign.