Big Changes for Loch Ness RNLI
After a busy season, it is now a time of change for the RNLI team on Loch Ness as they see crucial members stepping back from the front line.
Senior helmsman, Garry Macleod, retired last week, after 10 years’ service with the RNLI.
Garry has been with the RNLI since it began operating on Loch Ness in 2008. Prior to that, the Loch was managed by a Coastguard team, which Garry was a part of from 1996. Speaking about his retirement from the crew, Garry said:
“I’ve enjoyed every moment of being in the RNLI. It’s been a special privilege to have been on this journey, from the small shed we first had with the coastguard, to the first training session we had with the RNLI, to what we have now, with our fantastic new station and superb Atlantic 85.”
“Helping people has been the most rewarding aspect, but the teamwork and comradery of being part of this great crew has been equally as enjoyable.”
“I’ve loved being a part of the RNLI… I’ve loved being part of this team.”
Garry’s experience and knowledge of the loch, and its surrounding area, has been a vital asset to the voluntary crew. His company and sense of humour will certainly be missed by the rest of the crew on the cold and dark shouts.
Also changing roles within the Loch Ness team, is Linda Izquierdo Ross, who will shortly be retiring from her role as a crew member. Linda has been with the team since 2009 and involved in thirty-four shouts, including the team’s most recent one, that saw a yacht pinned to the weir separating the Caledonian canal and River Ness.
The precarious situation was handled efficiently, as the yacht was towed away from the weir successfully. On returning back to station, Linda was overjoyed to have been able to complete one more shout before retirement.
Linda has always been heavily involved behind the scenes for the team, taking on the role of station treasurer. As a former teacher, Linda has also excelled in an educational role for the RNLI, by frequently giving talks to parties that are interested in learning about the RNLI’s role on Loch Ness.
Although the Loch Ness team will be losing Garry and Linda from their crew, they are delighted that they will be staying on as Deputy Launch Authorities (DLAs). DLAs play a crucial role at RNLI stations as they decide whether or not a station (and crew) can respond to the Coastguard’s request to launch. Garry and Linda will be starting their DLA training very soon.
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.