Troon RNLI lifeboat mechanic retires

Lifeboats News Release

Andrew ‘Ollie’ Alston, the Full-Time Mechanic of Troon lifeboat station retired this week, after almost 17 years of service to the RNLI. Friday 19 October 2018 was his last operational day for the charity that saves lives at sea as he hands in his RNLI pager to enjoy his retirement.

In fron tof Troon all-weather lifeboat Andrew Alston (left) hands over to new mechanic Evan Gallacher


Andrew Alston (left) hands over to new mechanic Evan Gallacher

Speaking about his retirement Andrew said 'I will miss the call-outs and the crew at Troon, but I am going to enjoy the freedom of not having to carry a pager about 24/7.'

In 2003 Andrew became the stations full time mechanic after joining as a volunteer crew member in 2001 aboard the previous Troon lifeboat, Arun class RNLB City of Glasgow 111. Over the last 17 years Andrew has been on numerous callouts on-board the stations Trent class all-weather lifeboat.

When asked what his most memorable call out was Andrew said, ‘I’ve probably been on well over 400 callouts since I started from towing in fishing vessels, to all night searches and aircraft emergencies, but a recent callout during the summer when 2 young girls were rescued from a drifting dinghy sticks in my mind. As the lifeboat manoeuvred alongside the dinghy, the girls who had been panicking and were scared, began to smile with relief that we had arrived to help them. It just signified to me why I joined the crew and the work of the RNLI’

Troon Lifeboat Coxswain Joe Millar said: 'Andrew has been an essential part crew at Troon, and it has been enjoyable to work alongside him for the last 17 years. On behalf of everyone at Troon lifeboat station I would like to wish him well on his retirement.’

As full time station mechanic, Andrews daily job was to ensure that the stations all-weather lifeboat RNLB Jim Moffat and her life-saving equipment were ready to answer the next emergency call. At sea, while keeping an eye on the engines, Andrew was also the lifeboats radio operator and responsible for all communications from the lifeboat with the Coastguard and any casualty vessels.

The full-time mechanics role at Troon has been now been passed to Evan Gallacher. Evan recently joined the crew and after interview was appointed as the stations new full time mechanic to serve alongside Coxswain Joe Millar.

David Shaw, Troon Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘I wish Andrew well on his retirement and thank him for all he has done at Troon. I am delighted that Evan has been appointed to the full-time mechanics’ role. Although new to the crew Evan already has the confidence and trust of everyone at Troon Lifeboat Station.’

On Friday 19 October 2018, representatives from the station, crew and partners held a farewell dinner for Andrew at the Highgrove House to thank him for his service to Troon Lifeboat and the RNLI.

RNLI Media Contacts: Andrew Limond, volunteer lifeboat press officer at Troon, 01292 314414

Henry Weaver, RNLI Press Officer for Scotland, 01738 642946, 07771 943026,

Gemma McDonald, RNLI Regional Media Officer for Scotland, 01738 642956, 07826 900639,

Or contact RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789.

etiring mechanic Andrew Alston within the engine room of Trent class all-weather lifeboat


Retiring mechanic Andrew Alston within the engine room of Trent class all-weather lifeboat
New full-time RNLI mechanic at Troon lifeboat station Evan Gallacher


New full-time RNLI mechanic at Troon lifeboat station Evan Gallacher

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.