St Andrew’s Day is celebrated by Alexander as his father, RNLI lifeboat crew member Jock Anderson, from Tobermory, looks proudly on.
There are 46 lifeboat stations in Scotland, with the most northerly being Aith, Shetland. Last year alone, Scottish lifeboat crews carried out 1,010 rescues, with 848 people assisted and 38 lives saved.
Jock’s station, Tobermory, was originally opened in 1938, but closed nine years later, only to reopen in 1990. Today's Severn class lifeboat, The Elizabeth Fairlie Ramsey, carries out rescues to both leisure and commercial vessels, and the crew launched on service ten times over the course of 2011.
Tobermory also lays claim to the RNLI’s youngest Coxswain - 25-year-old Andrew McHaffie joined the crew back in 2008, and was appointed as full time Coxswain following a rigorous selection process in October of this year. This included taking command of Oban’s Trent Class lifeboat and her crew for an exercise, a challenging feat not least for the fact that Oban’s class of lifeboat was different to the one that Andrew was used to being in control of.
RNLI Divisional Inspector for Scotland, Paul Jennings said at the time: ‘Andrew is an experienced member of the Tobermory crew and has been Deputy Second Coxswain since January 2011. He has benefitted from the world class training provided by the RNLI College in Poole, Dorset, and passed a rigorous selection process with flying colours. Andrew is hugely respected by the Tobermory crew and I know he will be an asset not only to the station but to the RNLI as a whole.’
Scottish RNLI crew members have also been awarded for their bravery this year. Three crew members at Anstruther will receive gallantry medals for their part in a rescue that saved the lives of lives of two people from a motor vessel driven ashore in complete darkness and heavy breaking seas near St Andrews – a fitting link to this national day.
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