Lifeboat get its first request to launch

St Abbs independent lifeboat 'Thomas Tunnock'
St Abbs independent lifeboat 'Thomas Tunnock'

St Abbs independent lifeboat received its first HM Coastguard request to launch at the weekend.

The coastguard called on the independent lifeboat and its crew to check on reports of three anglers in a small boat who were thought to be in trouble just north of St Abbs Head at around 4pm on Saturday, May 20.

Arriving on scene, the crew found that the group were fine and didn’t require any further assistance. However, the crew had concerns about the anglers lack of lifejackets, safety equipment, and any form of communication.

After passing on safety advice to the anglers, the lifeboat crew returned to St Abbs.

A posting on their Facebook page reads: “This is the first time St Abbs independent lifeboat has responded to a pager request by the coastguard and we are pleased to report it went very smoothly.”

The crew are waiting to get full ‘declared facility status’ from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency which means they can be called out by the coastguard in an emergency. However, the criteria is currently being revised so the MCA will not undergo the formal process of assessing St Abbs independent lifeboat until the new criteria for declared facility status is confirmed.

“We are currently regarded as an “additional facility” by HM Coastguard,” explained Euan Gibson, from the lifeboat committee. “This means they will use us if they decide we are the nearest or most appropriate lifeboat in the event of an emergency, as happened on Saturday.

“In the meantime we continue to practice and keep our record keeping and paperwork updated, so that when the time comes to be audited by the MCA we are ready.”