The order for a new lifeboat for St Abbs has now been placed and it should arrive in the harbour in June or July this year.
St Abbs has been without its own lifeboat since September last year when the Royal National Lifeboat Institution decided to close the station and provide cover for the area, which is popular with divers, from Eyemouth.
St Abbs residents and lifeboat crew members fought the move, but when it became clear they had lost the battle to retain the RNLI inshore rescue boat they set out to provide their own accredited independent lifeboat.
Within months the £400,000 needed to buy the lifeboat and crew equipment had been raised – with a £260,000 donation coming from Tunnock, of caramel wafer and teacakes fame – and organisers then started the serious job of sourcing a new boat.
They have gone for a nine-metre inshore inflatable boat from Marine Specialised Technologies. The company, based in Liverpool, manufactures boats for the military and has supplied search and rescue boats around the world.
Announcing the order, Euan Gibson said: “The crew and committee have been to the Liverpool factory and after testing it on the Mersey we settled on that design which we think will be perfect for the conditions at St Abbs.
“The crew are back in training, and their first aid training will be beyond the minimum training requirement tailored to deal with potential diving casualties.”
Organisers held a public meeting in St Abbs last night (Wednesday) to tell their supporters the good news that the harbour will have its own lifeboat again by the summer.