St Abbs’ big day approaches

The crew of St Abbs Independent Lifeboat in Berwickshire trying out their new lifeboat
The crew of St Abbs Independent Lifeboat in Berwickshire trying out their new lifeboat

Excitement is growing in St Abbs as the countdown has begun to the official launch of the harbour’s independent lifeboat, the Thomas Tunnock.

A shuttle bus to help with parking has been organised, the evening launch party is already sold out and organisers are expecting a huge turn out in St Abbs for the launch, taking place at 2.30pm on Saturday.

Just over a year ago, on September 8, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution took its St Abbs lifeboat out of service, and the lifeboat station was closed.

Having unsuccessfully campaigned to try to get the RNLI to change its mind about closing the station, the St Abbs crew and their many supporters set about raising the funds to buy their own boat and run an independent lifeboat service from the harbour.

Fundraising was going well that organisers managed to spread the word far and wide, and they struck gold when they approached Tunnock’s bakery.

A £10,000 donation became a £260,000 donation, provided the boat was named after the company’s founder Thomas Tunnock, and, combined with other donations, in less than a year St Abbs had enough to buy a new boat and train and kit out the crew.

On Saturday, Thomas Tunnock’s grandson Boyd will officially launch the new St Abbs independent lifeboat named after his ancestor.