Lifeboat crews and supporters invaluable

Eyemouth Lifeboat  bringing a Yacht to safety that had apparently lost one of its rudders
Eyemouth Lifeboat bringing a Yacht to safety that had apparently lost one of its rudders

A RECORD number of people were rescued by lifeboats around the Scottish coast last year, crews from the 46 stations going out on over 1000 occasions and rescuing 1,055 people.

The two Berwickshire based lifeboat crews at Eyemouth and St. Abbs were called out on 18 and seven occasions during 2012, between them rescuing 18 people.

The Dunbar lifeboat had a busy year - its crew went out on 32 occasions and rescued 58 people.

Dunbar crew also spent over 750 hours at sea, the Eyemouth boat was at sea for 243 hours and the St Abbs crew were out at sea for 90 hours during 2012.

RNLI regional operations manager for Scotland, Andy Clift, said: “The figures show that our volunteers dedicate a huge amount of their time to saving lives at sea.

“To know that they are on call 24/7, every day of the year, is reassuring for all of us who venture out to sea around the Scottish coast.

“They spent the equivalent of 643 days on service on exercise and rescued a record number of people in Scotland in a year.

“But it’s not just our crew who are committed to our charity - they wouldn’t be able to carry out their lifesaving work without the incredible generosity of the public and I would like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to all those who support the RNLI, whether by giving up their time or by making a donation.”

The number of fishing boats needing help from the RNLI fell from 143 in 2011 to 122, but lifeboat crews had a busy time rescuing people on land - up from 142 in 2011 to 226 last year.

Eyemouth’s all weather lifeboat’s latest call-out was last month when they went to assist in towing the trawler Bright Ray safely back to the harbour. They can also be called out to check that all is well with fishing vessels and coastguards called out the Eyemouth crew when they lost contact with an Eyemouth fishing boat last September. And when a lone yachtsman succumbed to severe sea sickness 12 miles north of Eyemouth it was the fishing port’s lifeboat crew who went to his aid.

St Abbs lifeboat may not have as many call outs as other Scottish stations but one particular rescue they made in 2011 resulted in crew member Darren Crowe receiving an array of bravery awards - the latest presented by the Scottish Government in November.

The St Abbs crew are kept particularly busy helping divers as that part of the Berwickshire coast is growing popular with divers and last year was no different for them.

Their last call in mid-November was to help a diver reported unconscious off the Berwickshire coast. However despite their prompt actions the man sadly died.